House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was property.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our priority is to address the urgent health and safety needs of the people of Attawapiskat. We informed the chief that the community will be placed in third party management to ensure that community needs are addressed.

We are working with the community and with the province of Ontario, through Emergency Management Ontario, to quickly implement the community's existing emergency management plan to ensure that residents have access to warm, dry and safe shelter.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in committee I asked the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs when he first knew of the state of emergency in Attawapiskat. After a painful 20 second pause he answered, “Last week, about Thursday”. The first question on this issue in the House was a month ago. The minister's answer was truly unbelievable.

When did the Prime Minister first know of this crisis and what is he doing about this incompetent minister?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I just pointed out that on October 28, the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council invoked a state of emergency for three communities.

Nine or ten days later we received a request from Attawapiskat and we responded.

On November 24, last Thursday, we received an emergency measure from Attawapiskat.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister really does not know what he is talking about. This is not an isolated incident. First nations communities across this country are in crisis. There are hundreds of communities without clean running water and safe housing.

The buck stops with the Prime Minister. When will he stop blaming others for this crisis and fix this Canadian tragedy?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we understand that there are many challenges in first nations communities. We have spent in an unprecedented fashion on improving the lives of first nations across the country. We have spent more than any other government on basic infrastructure and housing. We have involved ourselves in improving child welfare and the education file, and we will continue to do those things.

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

December 1st, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Canadians are being asked to accept cuts, the government is setting a very bad example. It spends $3 billion more in outside contractors than under the Liberals. It sends military helicopters to pick up a minister at a fishing camp. It has the most expensive cabinet in the history of this country, not to mention an unbelievably bloated Prime Minister's Office that never stops growing.

How can the Prime Minister look Canadians in their eyes and tell them that he is acting responsibly on their behalf?

Government Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we have a plan that has been sanctified by the people of Canada to make sure that our government spends within its means, that we eliminate unnecessary spending, and focus on the issues and services that Canadians need. We have that mandate from the Canadian people.

The other part of the mandate is to have a low tax jurisdiction that creates jobs and growth. That is what we are focused on. It is unfortunate that the hon. member and his party are not.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister's story keeps changing on his patronage appointments to the IRB.

First, he claimed that only two appointees to the IRB had Conservative connections, but when faced with the facts about the many patronage appointments Conservatives actually made, the minister claimed he was not aware.

The minister brags about the pre-screening process, but if the pre-screening process was so rigorous, how could the government have appointed 16 Conservative insiders, including five former candidates, without the minister knowing?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. I said that since I have been minister I was aware of two people whom I have recommended for appointment with a connection to the Conservative Party out of about 169 appointments and reappointments that I made.

According to the list that he has come up with, it includes one-time donors to a provincial party 25 years ago. So basically, it includes anyone who has ever voted Conservative, which constitutes about 5% of the people appointed to the IRB by this government.

Under the new system that we put in place in July 2007, we have received 2,400 applications, only 240 of whom were recommended as being qualified for appointment. We have the most rigorous system in the history of the IRB.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives refuse to clean up their act. They have refused to appoint a public appointments commission. They are as addicted to patronage as the Liberals were.

Even the screening committee is stuffed with partisan appointments, including—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway has the floor.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, even the screening committee is stuffed with partisan appointments, including a former aide to a Conservative minister. Peter Showler, the former chair of the IRB, is describing the Conservative appointments process as secretive and political. He is saying there is no political accountability.

Why will the Conservatives not stop forcing their partisan immigration system—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is really a shame to hear this member denigrating what the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says is the fairest and most independent asylum determination process in the world.

It is unfortunate to hear him denigrating the people of quality who managed to come through a screening process where only one out of every 10 applicants were accepted. What is even more disappointing is to hear the Liberals, including a former immigration minister over there, talking about this.

I have four pages of names of people appointed to the IRB who were former Liberal campaign managers, spouses of MPs, and spouses of senators. We have cleaned up their mess.