House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

March 31st, 2009 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism claims he is bound by the recommendations of the committee responsible for applications for appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. But according to the latest Auditor General's report, there is a standing list of candidates that is updated regularly from which the minister can choose. There are currently 99 names on that list. The minister therefore had plenty of other choices.

Why, then, did he choose to appoint controversial Conservatives like Pharès Pierre and John Cryer, who is a homophobe?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have adopted a new pre-selection system for IRB members. The pre-selection is done by the IRB. The chair of that quasi-judicial body suggests names to me. We review the names before making appointments. This procedure is transparent and ensures that the IRB guarantees the credibility and qualifications of IRB appointees.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, only 37 or 42% of the existing 89 competent board members were renewed. The remaining 58% were not renewed, even though their qualifications were recognized by the IRB.

Are we to understand that the minister did not renew the contracts of the remaining 58% because he did not consider them conservative enough for his taste and he wanted to keep spots to reward friends of the party, as the Liberals did before them?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false. The fact is that when the Liberals were in power, they appointed anyone they wanted, without a pre-selection system. We have adopted a pre-selection system, as recommended by the agency for public appointments. That means that 100% of the candidates considered for appointment to the IRB are pre-selected by the IRB. Many people who apply to the IRB are not recommended to me as minister.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michelle Simson Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently met with Robyn, a mother of three and sole supporter of her family, who lost her job. She applied for EI, but due to the backlog was forced to seek social assistance to support her family. When Robyn finally began to receive EI, the social assistance she received was clawed back, leaving her with almost nothing.

When will the government fix EI so Robyn and thousands of other Canadians finally get the support they desperately need when they need it?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I will not get into the specifics of that particular case. We understand that people are going through difficult times. To the extent that we are, we have made modifications to the EI program that will bring benefits to many people, benefits of $2 billion to $4 billion.

We are taking three approaches: we are strengthening benefits for Canadian workers, we are enhancing the availability of training and we kept the employment rates frozen so there is no additional cost to employers and employees.

If the member has a specific issue, she can bring it to my attention after question period.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, since October the number of unemployed Canadians has risen by 295,000. According to the OECD, it will continue to rise.

A young mother in my riding took on an internship to get Canadian experience. Her employer has just cut the program, leaving her on the street. She has 724 hours, but because she lives in Ontario, she does not qualify for EI.

What plans does the government have to bring EI into the 21st century?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with the EI program. The variable rate requirement for hours was set in 1997 by the previous government, but we are enhancing it significantly to deal with the issues in the economy at the present time.

We will be benefiting 400,000 Canadians by extending the EI program by five additional weeks, not two, and by extending training programs for people who do not qualify for EI, those who need enhanced training, by a total of 190,000 people. This is looking after those who are in need at this time.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is disturbing news from Afghanistan today that laws passed by the Karzai government will make women even more vulnerable. Afghan women's groups and the UN say these new laws restrict a woman's right to leave her home, permit child marriage and, most disturbingly, legalize rape.

The government claims that protecting Afghan women is at the heart of our combat mission, yet with these laws women have never had it so bad.

Will the government, in no uncertain terms, let President Karzai know that this is totally unacceptable?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, if these reports are true, this will create serious problems for Canada. The onus is on the government of Afghanistan to live up to its responsibilities for human rights, absolutely including rights of women. If there is any wavering on this point from the government of Afghanistan, this will create serious problems and be a serious disappointment for us.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is true, these laws explicitly give men all the rights in child custody, in divorce, in inheritance, but most horrifyingly is the fact that these new laws legalize rape within marriage. At a time when the world is coming together to hammer out a new international consensus on Afghanistan, women's rights in that country are being dealt a death blow.

How can we say that our soldiers are there to protect women's rights when the western-backed leader of this nation pushes through laws like this? Allowing women to be treated like a piece of property, is this what we are fighting for? Is this what our people are dying for?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, if these prove to be true, it will create serious problems for the Government of Canada, for the people of Canada. Absolutely, the onus is upon the government of Afghanistan to live up to its human rights responsibilities, absolutely including the rights of women.

If there is any wavering on this point, as we have said, this will create serious difficulties, serious problems for the Government of Canada. We expect this to be addressed. We expect the government of Afghanistan to live up to its responsibilities to protect the rights of people and to respect the rights of women.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, our government is supporting Quebec's aerospace industry in this time of global economic uncertainty. Today Bombardier announced a new $1.5 billion purchase agreement for its new CSeries plane, in which our government is a partner and investor.

My colleague, the hon. Minister of Industry, was in Montreal this morning to announce new investments in the aerospace industry. I am anxious to hear about the results of his trip to Montreal.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.

This morning in Montreal, I announced a repayable investment of $250 million to support CAE Inc.'s development of innovative modelling and simulation technologies used in the aerospace and defence sectors. This government recognizes that the Canadian aerospace industry is one of the best in the world and now, with our economic action plan and the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, I have no doubt the industry will be very successful in the future.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. minister knows very well that he must not use the names of other members. This is not permitted in either questions or answers.

The hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville now has the floor.