House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs about China. Just last week his predecessor, David Emerson, who is now in the private sector, was enormously critical of the government for its failure to engage on China, for its failure to pay attention to the importance of this relationship, and for allowing a few ideological enthusiasts to take over Canada's China policy. Why has the minister allowed this to happen on his watch?

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am actually very pleased to be able to respond to that question. As a matter of fact, we have been extremely active on that file, contrary to what my colleague is saying. I personally had the opportunity of meeting with the foreign affairs minister. Colleagues of mine have travelled to China. My colleague, the Minister of International Trade, intends to go there very shortly. Not only will we be increasing our presence in China, but we also will be increasing our presence in Asia.

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, every prime minister since John Diefenbaker has taken—

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Dief, dief.

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

I knew Mr. Diefenbaker, Mr. Speaker, and none of those members is John Diefenbaker.

Every prime minister since John Diefenbaker has engaged with China and has paid attention to this relationship. The present Prime Minister is the first prime minister we have had who is not engaged with China and who has not dealt with this relationship.

The president of China is going to be present at the conference of the G20 that is taking place in London. Does the Prime Minister and the minister not realize how serious a mistake this is with respect to building that relationship?

China
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, since I still have a little more time to talk about what we are doing with China, my colleague will be able to open up six new trade offices in China very shortly.

We all recall that in the House we were able to secure $2 billion to ensure that the Asia-Pacific gateway opened up the doors to new trade with China and with Asia.

We are getting the job done.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontario's largest public sector union recently passed a motion calling for a boycott of all Israeli academics. The Canadian Union of Public Employees' deliberate targeting of the Jewish people is not new. In fact, CUPE's president, Sid Ryan, recently compared the Israeli government with the Nazis.

Will the Minister of Immigration explain the government's reaction to the motion by CUPE?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians should be concerned about the growing wave on Canadian campuses by organizations such as CUPE that are singling out and targeting the Jewish democratic state of Israel for opprobrium in the most vile language possible.

Last week Jewish students at the Hillel Club at one of our universities faced an angry mob shouting anti-Jewish slogans. The resolution passed by CUPE is in the same spirit. All these people are rejecting the right alone of the Jewish people to a homeland.

On behalf of all Canadians, we denounce this kind of intolerance and extremism that is totally unacceptable.

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government never had any intention of introducing real proactive pay equity legislation and it made that obvious last November. It intends to deny more women the right to equal pay for work of equal value, and apparently the Liberals agree.

In committee this morning legal and women's rights experts made it clear that this law would be challenged. This will slow down women's rights to justice.

Will the minister finally admit that it is time to stop this pay equity charade and give women the justice they have earned?

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I find it hard to understand how the process could be any slower. At present, women have to wait 15 or 20 years in order to achieve equity in the workforce. That is simply not acceptable.

We are adopting proactive legislation, in the same way that the member for Toronto Centre did when he was in the Ontario legislature, to ensure that women have equity in the workplace on a timely basis.

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the only proactive thing in this legislation is the Conservatives' clear and determined intention to deprive Canadian women of the right to equal pay for work of equal value. They are raising the occupational concentration threshold for women from the current 55% to 70%. They are inventing a new exception for the market economy, even though the market is responsible for the discrimination.

Obviously, the minister thinks that women's right to work is a joke. He ought to be replaced.

Pay Equity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we are changing the system so that women will no longer have to wait for 15 years for compensation.

Under the old way of doing things, unions refused to deal with pay equity issues during negotiations. We believe that everyone is responsible for pay equity in the workforce, so unions and employers, both parties, must ensure that equity is achieved in a collective agreement. That is only fair to women. That is fair to society.

Justice
Oral Questions

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, Groupe Polygone, which was involved in the sponsorship scandal, is trying to uncover the identity of the journalistic source who brought the whole affair to light. A process has been undertaken to force a journalist to reveal his source, the person known as “Ma chouette”.

Will the Minister of Justice direct his lawyers to uphold freedom of the press and the protection of journalistic sources?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly reviewing this matter and we will take all suggestions under consideration.

Access to Information
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, it sounds as though the Minister of Justice did not understand the question.

What a paradox. The government demands complete transparency from the media, but when it comes to access to information requests, it charges exorbitant fees and spews red tape, which is contrary to the spirit of the act.

If the government really wants improved access to information, how can it justify implementing a fee structure designed to get around the legislation, which is what is going on at Foreign Affairs?