House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as all Canadians know, this government does many things to help all people living in poverty, particularly women and children.

What we have articulated is an initiative for our G8 on the international scene focused on saving the lives of mothers and children. We know this can be done. It is simple. We know what the solutions. They are providing clean water, vaccination, better nutrition as well as better trained health care workers and access to those health care services that they need as close to their communities as possible.

Access to Information
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, access to information does not exist under the Conservative government. Requests for documents could take up to three years for a response.

The government is using every means to keep information from journalists, members of Parliament and Canadians. Three Conservative cabinet ministers are under investigation right now by the investigations commissioner.

When is the Prime Minister going to direct his ministers to be open, transparent and accountable? What do they have to hide?

Access to Information
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is actually the previous government that continued to vote against our request for expanded capability to get information out to our citizens. We have reversed that course.

We have increased the dollars to the Access to Information Commissioner. We have increased that budget by over $2 million. Also, we have expanded the number of agencies that can in fact be looked at. The Liberals used to protect those. We do not believe in that. We believe in being transparent and that is the path in which we are going to continue.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the day after the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympic Games, the Minister of Official Languages was the first—the first—to criticize VANOC, saying that French should have been more prominent, and even adding that VANOC had reassured him in that regard.

Now that journalists are asking for proof of that reassurance, the minister is refusing to provide it. A leopard cannot change its spots. When asked for transparency, he becomes completely opaque.

Why does the minister refuse to trust the good judgment of Canadians?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to say that we are extremely proud to have been a partner in the 2010 Olympic Games. They were an extraordinary success for Canada.

But I would like to talk about official languages at the Olympic Games. Jacques Rogge said he was pleased that the Olympic Games were entirely bilingual.

Pascal Couchepin, the Grand Témoin de la Francophonie, said that the Vancouver Games set an example in terms of linguistic diversity and that it would be difficult to do any better.

We kept our promises regarding the official languages during the Olympic Games, and we are very proud to have been a partner in those Games.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, memos show that references to gay rights were shamefully deleted from the citizenship guide at the behest of the immigration minister. Half a million copies have been printed with gay history censored.

The minister will not take responsibility and instead leaves his staff to blame. That simply is not acceptable.

Will the minister do the right thing, admit his mistakes, stop laughing about this and immediately apologize to Canadians?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I take full responsibility for “Discover Canada”.

About that, the Montreal Gazette said, “The 62-page guidebook is a solid step toward a healthy, self-respecting Canadian nationalism we can all share”.

Maclean's said, “Beyond remedying the historical oversights of previous versions, the new citizenship guide also provides a clear-eyed and forceful statement of the expectations of current Canadian values”.

The old study guide, the one that is replaced, had zero mention of gays and lesbians in Canada. We corrected that in the new guide. However, it is true, there is no section on marriage; there never was. We are proud of this guide. We believe it does reflect the diversity of Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, newcomers need to know that gay-bashing is illegal. They need to know that gay marriage is to be celebrated. Is the minister saying that those important elements of Canadian law should not be made known to new Canadians? Why is it missing? Why is it censored away from the new citizenship guide?

Canadians are tolerant, peace-loving and we value our freedom. Let us ensure that newcomers are welcomed in this spirit.

Will the minister immediately restore this reference to gay rights and gay history to the citizenship guide right now?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I have a higher estimation than the member does about new Canadians. I do not believe that new Canadians are potential gay-bashers. I believe new Canadians come here to respect our laws and the dignity of other Canadians.

We make very clear in this document, which was well accepted right across, I believe, the political spectrum and right across the country, that there are rights and responsibilities, and among those responsibilities are following the laws and respecting the dignity of all Canadians.

I am proud this is the first citizenship guide that does mention gay and lesbian Canadians, unlike the one it replaces.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the last session of Parliament, the Liberal leader's senators delayed and gutted our tough on crime legislation at every turn. Now we hear that the Liberals are again preparing to block important justice legislation, this time in the House of Commons and the Senate.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. We will have some order. The hon. member for Yorkton--Melville has the floor. We have to be able to hear the hon. member's question.

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me start again. They do not want to hear this.

In the last session of Parliament, the Liberal leader's senators delayed and gutted our tough on crime legislation at every turn. Now the Liberals are again preparing to block important justice legislation, this time in both the House of Commons and the Senate.

Could the Minister of Justice please tell the House what this government plans to do to stand up for victims and the—

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Justice.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what took place in the Senate was very disappointing. After all, it was their colleagues in the Senate that took Bill C-15 and gutted it. That bill targeted drug traffickers and organized crime in the country.

The good news is we will reintroduce that bill into the Senate without those Liberal Senate amendments and we will continue our fight against organized crime and white collar crime and secure justice for victims with tougher sentences.

Fighting crime is a priority and Canadians know they can count on this government.