House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats have long pushed for fast and fair refugee reform, but fairness means that all refugees should have the right to appeal.

Instead, the minister is asking this House to give him total and absolute power to deny refugee claimants equal rights. That is dangerous and arrogant.

Does the minister honestly believe he has the right to pick and choose which groups should become second-class refugees?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, no, I do not and nor do the balanced reforms suggest that.

What we have done is to deliver a new refugee appeal division, faster protection for bona fide refugees. They will not have to wait for a year and a half; they will be getting protection within 60 days. There will be faster removal of false claimants. There will no longer be five years of gaming the system; they will be out within a year. There will be public service decision makers, a significant backlog reduction, more resettled refugees from abroad, more support for those refugees to get integrated.

The NDP asked for all of those things. Can the NDP not take yes, for once, as an answer?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, all people who face persecution should be treated equally, no matter which country they come from.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said people do flee persecution from democratic countries. The consequences for this flawed and unfair refugee reform could be imprisonment, torture and even death.

How can the minister ask this House to support a bill that can result in such tragic consequences?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, let us make sure we do not get carried away with the kind of demagoguery we are hearing here.

The reality is that we are adding a full complete appeal division. This balanced reform will exceed Canada's legal obligations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the relevant UN conventions, and it includes a tool to deal with spikes in unfounded claims from democratic countries. According to the UN high commissioner, there are indeed safe countries of origin.

There are indeed countries in which there is a presumption that refugee claims will probably not be as strong as in other countries, which is the reason that modern western liberal democracies like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands have all adopted—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking action to avoid a two-tiered immigration system, one for immigrants who wait in line, often for years, to come to Canada and another for those who abuse the asylum system not for protection but to try to get into Canada through the back door.

Could the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism tell the House how these new reforms will fix the two-tiered immigration system and provide better protection for legitimate asylum seekers?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, for too long Canada's asylum system has been broken with huge backlogs, enormous waiting times, a year and a half to get a hearing.

What we are doing is finally bringing about balanced reforms that will give protection to bona fide refugees in just a few weeks and that will remove false refugee claimants in less than a year rather than taking several years to game our system.

This is a reform that will allow more UN refugees who are in camps abroad to come to Canada and provide them with additional support. It adds more process to protect their rights, the new refugee appeal division.

This is in the best tradition of our humanitarian—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Malpeque.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it never ends with the Minister of State for the Status of Women.

Today we learned that a series of fawning letters to the editor about the minister, sent to newspapers in Simcoe—Grey under the name Jessica Morgan, were actually written by the minister's executive assistant, Jessica Craven. Talk about craven promotion. We have not seen this kind of impersonation since Rahim Jaffer's executive assistant tried to do his boss' radio interviews.

How much more embarrassment can the government take before it fires this minister?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Minister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the staffer in question, she called me today. She advised me of the situation. We discussed it. We did discuss that it was inappropriate. She apologized and assured me that it will not happen again.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to jeopardizing the health of patients, the isotope crisis is impacting the budgets of Quebec and the provinces. Dr. François Lamoureux, president of the Association des médecins spécialistes en médecine nucléaire du Québec, is still seething: “The government...has acted like amateurs...it has created a crisis throughout the world. This matter has been so badly mishandled—”

The reactor's restart has been announced six times. How can we believe that it will happen this time?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. This is a global problem that requires a global solution. The government has shown leadership by establishing a high level group to deal with the problem. A group of international medical experts is improving coordination of the strategy.

This is unprecedented because, previously, the reactors were competing against one another and there were no discussions. Our budget allocates $35 million to research in order to identify alternatives, plus $13 million to clinical trials. Once again, the Bloc does not support the budget.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

March 30th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently conducted a study that indicated that 82% of Canada's entrepreneurs would like the federal government to defer future increases in employment insurance premiums until the $57 billion surplus has been fully repaid.

If the Minister of Finance truly opposes the Liberals' plundering of the EI fund, why is he using yesterday's Conservative budget bill to finish the job started by the Liberals?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the plain fact is that the previous Liberal government, in the middle of the 1990s, siphoned off the $58 billion to $60 billion from the EI fund and put it into the consolidated revenue fund. People do not have to take my word for it. Read what professors—

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Tell Sheila Fraser that.