House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was insurance.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I answer as I did yesterday. We do have a special envoy in Afghanistan; he is our ambassador. Our ambassador has direct access to the highest authorities of the host government.

We have a high commissioner in Pakistan.

This government has confidence in our foreign affairs professionals if the opposition does not.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that will not work. The situation is clear: Italy, the United States, Germany, Great Britain and France all have special envoys attempting to reach a political conclusion to the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the entire region.

That is why we need someone in charge who has the kind of political imagination that is clearly lacking on the other side of the House.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat that we do have confidence in our foreign affairs professionals. We heard the answer of the Prime Minister. The Government of Canada is confident that we are well-represented in the region.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, here are some facts about the Afghan detainees.

One, the last U.S. human rights report on Afghanistan reported that there is still torture and abuse of detainees.

Two, the UN Secretary-General report noted also that detainees continued to complain of torture.

Three, CBC reported last May that there is still torture at the National Directorate of Security—which is the secret service—detention centre.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Last May, Canadian Forces transferred 42 Afghan prisoners. Of those 42 prisoners, 10 went to the NDS detention centre. Why?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, as we know, Canada transfers Afghan prisoners to the Government of Afghanistan. We continue to work closely with that government to strengthen its capacity on the treatment of prisoners.

Since modifications were made to that process in December 2007, there have been no allegations of abuse received by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a new definition of the word “pathetic”.

The government knows very well that it is against the Geneva convention to transfer Afghan prisoners to local authorities who practice torture. The Americans, the United Nations and humanitarian organizations all recognize that there is torture in Afghanistan and have all demonstrated transparency in publicly tabling their reports.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to do the same and table the uncensored reports from National Defence and Foreign Affairs on torture in Afghanistan? If not, why not?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his question.

I repeat: no allegations of abuse have been reported to the Minister of Foreign Affairs since December 2007.

The May 2007 agreement between Canada and Afghanistan makes explicit that Canada has full unrestricted and private access to any person transferred to an Afghan prison by the Canadian Forces.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is using the economic crisis as a pretext for acting on its ideological bias against women. However, even during prosperous times, it shirked its responsibilities and, as a direct result, now that the crisis is hitting hardest, only 33% of unemployed women can access employment insurance.

As we celebrate International Women's Week, does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development not think it is crucial that we improve access to employment insurance for women?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is, 82% of women who contribute to employment insurance can receive it. That is the reality. We want to help everyone who needs it during these tough times. That is why, in our economic action plan, we extended the benefits period by five weeks and we are offering more training, so that people can find long term employment.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has shown very little empathy towards older workers. Despite our persistent efforts in the guaranteed income supplement file, it continues to stubbornly refuse any improvements to the system.

Knowing that older women are among the poorest people in our society, does the government plan to introduce a bill, as proposed by the Bloc Québécois, aimed at improving the legislation by increasing the guaranteed income supplement by $110 a month and ensuring retroactive payment to the older women it has abandoned?

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has done a lot to help seniors because they are the ones who built our country.

We have already raised the age credit by $1,000. We have another $1,000 increase in there for them. We have provided for pension splitting. We have set up a ministry for seniors to address elder abuse because that is particularly important. We are looking at a lot of other ways in which we can help them achieve financial independence and security, including things we have already done, such as making it easier to access the GIS and increasing the amount they are eligible for.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

March 5th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian and Mexican human rights organizations disapprove of the new Mexican ambassador to Canada who demonstrated a casual attitude and intolerable indifference with respect to the murder and rape of several women while he was governor of the state of Chihuahua.

How could the Minister of Foreign Affairs accept the credentials of Barrio Terrazas, when he is coming to Canada with a past that makes him unworthy of this position?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her exaggerated characterization of the question.

Mr. Barrio Terrazas' nomination by President Calderón and his confirmation by the Mexican Congress was accepted by Canada. The Prime Minister has built a strong relationship with President Calderón over the years. President Calderón is championing deep reforms of the judicial sector and human rights institutions in his country.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been more accusations concerning the situation of domestic workers. These women are vulnerable to blackmail, economic and sometimes sexual exploitation by their employers, who they cannot leave. These women are often isolated and in an extremely fragile state.

What is the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism waiting for to implement the Bloc proposals that will end the current requirement that forces these women to live in the employer's home?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, this is a very important program for those women who use it and it is also important for the employers. We have seen an increase in the number of women and men who arrive in Canada under this program.

I am aware of the concerns raised by the member. I have already asked my officials to advise me on the best way to improve the program in order to better protect the rights of these women and men.