House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, it was three weeks later. Either the Prime Minister was not sincere in his edict to ensure access to information or his minister is ignoring him.

There is a pattern of political interference in the denial of access to information requests by the Conservative government, so much so that the Information Commissioner is now investigating.

What new measures will the Prime Minister take to ensure access to information for Canadians, or is he where the problem begins?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we always strive to be open and transparent, but we do want to make sure that when Canadians request information from us, the information they receive is timely and accurate, and it is important that it be complete. That is why we are going to use this example to see what lessons can be learned from it for the future.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about openness and transparency.

The torture documents that were dumped in Parliament last Thursday show that the government is actually concealing information from Parliament, not for national security but to protect itself from embarrassment. Torture is a stark reality in Afghan jails. The government is hiding the ugly truth about torture and who knew what and when.

When will the government stop trying to shield itself from embarrassment and call a public inquiry so that Canadians can learn the truth?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it completely wrong, but it is good to see that they are back on message in the Liberal Party with their number one concern.

That being said, we put a process in place. We have appointed the hon. Justice Frank Iacobucci to have a look at the documents, to check this over. This is a process that should have the support of all hon. members. I am surprised that the hon. member is not supporting this process.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the documents dumped in Parliament last week, there is at least one document that appears twice. In one instance, a paragraph is blacked out; in the other, it is not. Clearly this process is random, arbitrary and driven by the politics of cover-up.

When will Canadians learn who in government knew what and when? When will the government have the courage to be decent and honest and call a public inquiry?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not have confidence in the public servants who looked at these documents. These are individuals who have no other interests than public safety and the safety and security of the men and women who serve in Afghanistan, but we have gone beyond that and we have appointed Mr. Frank Iacobucci to have a look at these. This is a step in the right direction.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

March 29th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the G8 foreign affairs ministers will focus on the nuclear threat posed by Iran and North Korea. Canada is not very credible on this subject, given that it is more interested in selling its CANDU reactors than addressing security issues. Canada recently entered into an agreement with India, which has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Does the minister realize that he might be able to speak with more authority if his government were more vigilant when it comes to nuclear non-proliferation?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question, but I must say one thing.

Canada is committed to promoting international peace and security by working to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Canada's policy is rooted in its support of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, while those living in the Arctic are wondering what their future holds, it is disappointing that three of the five members at the Arctic summit, including Canada, have not signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Should the government not begin by unconditionally signing this declaration and urging its partners to do likewise in order to come to a lasting agreement about the Arctic?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, northerners do play a fundamental role in Canada's Arctic sovereignty strategy. The Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke with territorial leaders and leaders of Arctic indigenous organizations before the summit. Today's meeting is specifically for those states that share a coastline with the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic Council chair and our Minister of Foreign Affairs will debrief other interested parties after the conference.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is afraid that two-tier triage for refugees according to their country of origin will penalize certain persecuted groups from countries that are deemed safe. Homosexuals and women could be the first victims of the Conservative government's proposed reform.

What measures will be put in place so that refugees who could suffer genital mutilation, forced marriage or persecution because of their sexual orientation are not deported?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question.

Tomorrow, I will table a bill in the House that proposes balanced reforms of the asylum system. We want to improve this system in order to protect victims of persecution much more quickly and address the issue of unfounded refugee claims.

All the reforms will comply with our international legal obligations and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Everyone will be able to apply to the IRB for refugee status. The reforms will be balanced.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that the selection system must take claimants' individual circumstances into consideration. The appeal division, which has never been put in place by the Liberals or the Conservatives, would ensure that every case is examined on its own merits.

Does the minister understand that he needs to put in place a real appeal division, not some watered-down mechanism?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is odd. For a year, I have been encouraging the opposition parties to come up with ways of carrying out balanced reforms and improving the asylum system. But we have not received any suggestions from the Bloc Québécois.

The reforms I am going to propose tomorrow will comply fully with all our legal and moral obligations. I just announced that as part of its reforms, Canada will accept 2,500 more refugees from around the world—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis.