House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Burma
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Nobel Prize winner, democracy activist and Canadian citizen Aung San Suu Kyi is facing five years in prison after an American swam to her house, violating her house arrest conditions. She should not be under house arrest at all, let alone in jail.

Could the government tell us what representations, if any, it has made to the Burmese junta to insist upon her immediate release?

Can the government tell us, here in this House, now, what steps have been taken to defend the rights of Aung San Suu Kyi?

Burma
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asked a relevant question.

Our government is alarmed by the new charges laid against Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. We have called for her immediate release, along with all political prisoners in Burma.

We strongly urge the Burmese authorities to provide appropriate medical care for Aung San Suu Kyi and for all inmates held unjustly in Burma's prisons.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister clearly misled Canadians on EI. Worse than that, he threatened an election on the backs of the unemployed.

The truth is this: One third of men and 40% of women do not have permanent full-time jobs. Most of them fall through the cracks of the EI system. Government research shows that 66% of part-timers and the majority of young workers who pay premiums do not qualify to get the benefits after a layoff, because they have not worked enough hours.

Instead of bullying, threatening and misleading, why will--

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, here is the reality: As a result of our economic action plan, we added an extra five weeks to EI, we froze premium rates, and we provided extra work-sharing. Another 100,000 Canadians are protected as a result of our efforts, which that member's party voted against.

We see what is happening here. The coalition is alive and well. The coalition is working together on this issue. They want extra payroll taxes for Canadian businesses and workers. That is their issue. We will not allow that to happen.

Pension Plans
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, after accepting early retirement incentives, AbitibiBowater pensioners are being left with nothing.

These people followed the rules and contributed to the system, but are losing their pension.

How can a company like AbitibiBowater be allowed to shirk its responsibilities towards its pensioners, when the former executive chairman, John Weaver, was given a severance package of $17.5 million?

Why does the government still refuse to protect retirees, but continue to help—

Pension Plans
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Pension Plans
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that Canada has a very generous employment insurance system. We improved that system through Canada's economic action plan and budget 2009. Here on this side of the House, we are saying that coalitions like the one formed in December must be stopped. Such a coalition cannot be allowed because it is not in the best interest of workers or businesses.

We will not allow that coalition. They do not represent the people of Canada. This is merely another coalition.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the government concerning the worsening humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka.

Yesterday, reports indicated that a hospital had been bombed causing the death of 50 people. Today, we learned that the hospital may have been abandoned, leaving 400 injured people without care.

I would like to ask the government a very simple question. What will it do to ensure that this humanitarian crisis does not become a total disaster?

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in the House and across Canada are seriously concerned about the civilian victims in Sri Lanka and that is why our government has called for a ceasefire. We support the UN and other countries' call for a ceasefire and unhindered access for humanitarian workers.

We have put forward $7.5 million in aid and we are willing to meet with the Tamil Canadian community.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is now clear that the calls from the Security Council have been ignored by the government of Sri Lanka. The foreign minister today is quoted as saying that they simply will not listen to those requests for a ceasefire.

We have at least, according to the UN estimates, 50,000 people who are trapped in a space of roughly two square miles. They cannot get out because the government and the Tamil Tigers will not let them get out.

What will the government now do when faced with this situation? It is not enough to give speeches. The government needs to tell us what action it will take.

Sri Lanka
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the entire world is very concerned, which is why we are working with other countries and the United Nations. We will continue to work with those countries, with the Security Council and the other United Nations agencies.

Initially, we are trying to get the immediate needed aid there and we will continue to have dialogue. If the United Nations comes forward with any further action, we will proceed.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

May 14th, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the House, the government dodges questions by saying that the Abdelrazik case is before the courts, but in the courts, the government argues that the court does not have jurisdiction. Meanwhile, Mr. Abdelrazik is stranded in Sudan.

How long will the government repeat these irrelevant and misleading lines instead of protecting his rights and bringing Mr. Abdelrazik home to Canada?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Abdelrazik's case is a very complex matter that began under the watch of the previous Liberal government, the government under which the hon. member was the minister of justice. The reason the Liberals could not do anything was because Mr. Abdelrazik was on the al-Qaeda Taliban no-fly list.

I do not know why the hon. member promotes this case as Mr. Abdelrazik is still on that list.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the present government can treat Mr. Abdelrazik as it does, it can happen to any Canadian.

Parliament deserves an answer. Does the government have a policy of ignoring the rights of any Canadian simply because there may be a terrorist allegation, when our own security services say that it is unfounded and the charter mandates him coming back to Canada now?