Debates of June 14th, 2011
- Question Period
- Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
- Tlicho Agreement
- Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
- Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
- Inuvialuit Final Agreement
- Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada's Economy Act
- Canada Shipping Act, 2001
- Criminal Code
- Questions on the Order Paper
- Canada Post
- Don Valley East
- Parliamentary Outdoors Caucus
- Manitoba Floods
- Youth Charitable Program
- Grand Valley
- International Trade
- Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Social Issues
- Bill Hussey
- Social Issues
- The Budget
- Government Spending
- Arts and Culture
- G8 Summit
- Canada Post Corporation
- Aboriginal Affairs
- Search and Rescue
- The Environment
- Canadian Wheat Board
- Public Safety
- Foreign Affairs
- Sports Infrastructure
- Air Canada
- Veterans Affairs
- The Senate
David Wilks Kootenay—Columbia, BC
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightly outraged. Yesterday, the federal court ordered the Minister of Public Safety to review his decision to deny the transfer of Alexie Randhawa to serve his sentence in Canada. This individual was found with 107 kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle, probably destined for North American youth.
Would the Minister of Public Safety please tell the House what our Conservative government is doing to ensure that dangerous criminals who are serving their sentence in the country where they committed their crimes are not sent to Canada?
Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety
Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on any individual case. However, it is important to be very clear. Canadians who commit crimes abroad run the risk of facing justice abroad. Our government tabled legislation in the last Parliament to ensure that Canadians are kept safe from international offenders. Shockingly, the NDP voted to gut the bill, even going so far as to attempt to remove every reference to "protecting victims".
Law-abiding Canadians can be reassured that we will reintroduce this legislation as soon as possible and, unlike the NDP, we will put the rights of victims ahead of criminals.
Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB
Mr. Speaker, there is a disturbing pattern of the government abandoning Canadians in difficulty abroad.
Henk Tepper, a New Brunswick potato farmer, has been in a Lebanese prison for almost three months following a commercial dispute. Mr. Tepper's wife and young children say that they have heard nothing but dead air from this government. They have received no information.
It is unacceptable for the government to abandon Canadians in circumstances as difficult as Mr. Tepper's. When will the government intervene with Lebanese authorities, have Mr. Tepper released from the prison in Lebanon and brought back to Canada?
Diane Ablonczy Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his courtesy in letting me know he would be raising this issue. I also thank him for the opportunity to set the record straight.
In fact, Mr. Tepper and his family have been given substantial, vigorous and active assistance since the time he was arrested. There have been regular visits and there has been regular contact with Mr. Tepper, his family and his lawyers to give all possible assistance.
Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC
Mr. Speaker, in order to allow young people in Lavaltrie to play sports and the secondary school to develop a sports education program, the town needs a sports complex. The Conservatives told us that the regions were their priority. Regional development is also my priority.
Will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities agree to review the request for funding for this project, which will help the economic and social development of Lavaltrie and the surrounding area?
Denis Lebel Minister of Transport
Mr. Speaker, I want to welcome the hon. member.
The Government of Canada is always very interested in every region of the country and, of course, every region of Quebec. It is a region I know very well, having played a lot of sports there myself. However, as the hon. member knows, the province of Quebec has to give priority to each infrastructure project in the province of Quebec. If the province gives priority to this specific project, then we will see what happens at the federal level. We will be pleased to help this beautiful region.
Roxanne James Scarborough Centre, ON
Mr. Speaker, late last night 3,800 Air Canada customer service and ticket agents went on strike. Canadians are worried about the effect this will have on our economy.
Could the Minister of Labour please advise the House of the government's intentions to respond to this strike?
Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour
Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. colleague from the great fortress of Conservative Toronto.
As the member indicated, we are concerned by the effect this strike will have on our economic recovery, which is still fragile, and on Canadians in general. Canadians gave us a strong mandate to complete our economic recovery. That is why we will put on notice tonight legislation to ensure continuing air service for passengers.
Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS
Mr. Speaker, here is something the Conservatives never talk about in their budget. Since they took power, a 30% increase in food bank use in the country has been rising and 904,000 Canadians used a food bank last year. What is most despicable is that over 200 veterans, a fourfold increase, in the city of Calgary, where the Prime Minister comes from, use a food bank strictly for veterans.
How can the government brag about its budget when the heroes of our country have to go begging for food in the richest city in our country?
Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs
Mr. Speaker, I want to wish the member well in his position. I appreciate his concern for our veterans.
One veteran in the street is one veteran too many. That is why this government, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, has undertaken the largest initiative to help our homeless veterans in three cities: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. That is why we have been helping more than 100 veterans and why we also are staying the course and ensuring we take care of our veterans all over the country.
Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC
Mr. Speaker, since coming to power, the Conservatives have been using the Senate to reward their friends and cronies and often to delay or even defeat bills passed by duly elected MPs. Instead of proposing simply to abolish the Senate, the Prime Minister is instead insisting on a piecemeal, unilateral reform of that institution.
Since the Government of Quebec intends to turn to the courts to block these bills if it is not consulted, will the Prime Minister put an end to this obsession with unilaterally reforming the Senate?
Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
Mr. Speaker, we believe the Senate must change in order to reach its full potential as an accountable and democratic institution. As we have always said, we are not interested in opening up the Constitution. Canadians do not want drawn-out constitutional fights. That is why our government will be proceeding with Senate reform that is reasonable and within the authority of Parliament.
The House resumed consideration of the motion, and of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
The Speaker Andrew Scheer
When oral question period began, the period for questions and comments after the speech by the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue was about to begin.
Questions and comments, the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake
James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB
Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. member to the House. It is my understanding that she has served a few years in the Canadian armed forces and I thank her for that service to Canada. I look forward to working with her on the national defence committee when we get organized next week.
In the her presentation to the House, she talked about all the horrors that had occurred in Libya because of Colonel Gadhafi. She mentioned all the murders that had taken place and how he had attacked people demonstrating in the streets against his regime. She also talked about Colonel Gadhafi using rape as a weapon against his citizens and about the use of his air force to bomb civilian places.
Does the hon. member believe Colonel Gadhafi should maintain his role as the leader of Libya, or do we need to get him out and replace his government?