House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registry.

Topics

Canada-China Relations
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's delegation has arrived in China to deepen the trade and economic ties between our two countries.

His trip will strengthen the foundation for long-term economic growth in Canada. Strong economic ties require strong people-to-people ties. To that end, the Prime Minister has announced that Mark Rowswell will serve as Canada's goodwill ambassador to China.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rowswell on both sides of the Pacific. He is a hugely popular performer in China, where he is widely known under his stage name Dashan, or “Big Mountain”. Over the last 20 years this Ontario native has scaled new peaks of popularity as a television host, performer and public speaker.

This appointment highlights the close personal and cultural ties we share with China. It sets the stage for a very positive and productive visit this week.

I wish the Prime Minister and his delegation every success on this trip and know that all hon. members join me in wishing Mr. Rowswell our best in this new role, representing Canada in China.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in order to pressure the Assad regime, the United States announced on Monday that it was pulling its ambassador out of Damascus. Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy have followed suit. France also just announced that it is recalling its ambassador.

When will Canada recall its ambassador to Syria?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, no country is as concerned about the current human rights abuses in Syria as Canada. That is why we are very disappointed at the decision by China and Russia to veto the Security Council resolution against the Assad regime. That being said, we have already recalled most of our embassy staff from Damascus. We have to maintain a basic presence in order to protect the interests of the Canadians who are there. However, when the time comes, we will—

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, New Democrat seniors and pension critics are embarking today on a Canada-wide tour to engage Canadians, young and old, about retirement security. This is necessary because of the Conservatives' threats to roll back old age security. They will not come clean about their plans. They will not say that they will raise admissibility from 65 to 67 years old. People are planning their retirements now, not tomorrow but today. They need to know what is going to hit them.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the government has been absolutely clear that we intend to take action to protect and preserve programs like old age security so that it is there for future generations. The NDP approach, I submit, is irresponsible. It takes no account of the fact that, based on current rules, OAS is destined to grow from 15% to 25% of the federal budget to over $100 billion in expenditures. That money has to come from somewhere, from a shrinking tax base, fewer workers with more beneficiaries. These are facts with which the government must contend in responsibly planning for the long term—

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is fascinating to watch the Conservatives skirt around the questions. It would be much easier if they just came clean. People are planning their retirements now. Many have very tight budgets. Changes to the old age security system will have an impact on their planning.

How can the retirees of tomorrow plan their retirements without complete information? When we will have the information?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, again, we have been clear that those who are currently retired and those retiring soon will not be affected by the changes. However, we must protect the old age security program for future generations like mine. We need a realistic and affordable approach that takes the aging of the population seriously. We are going to take a responsible approach to ensure that there are benefits for current and future retirees.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

February 7th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Maher Arar torture affair and the Afghan detainee debacle taught us the dangers of courting Canadian complicity in the use of torture. However, instead of moving forward, the government is moving Canada backward.

The public safety minister has directed CSIS to use information that has been extracted through torture. As long as there is a market for information derived from torture, torture will exist.

Why is the government getting Canada into the torture business?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canada does not condone torture and does not engage in torture. CSIS and its employees are bound by Canadian law. Our government expects CSIS and security agencies to make the protection of life and property the overriding priority.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is showing utter contempt for the Supreme Court of Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We must not forget that in 2009 the Conservative public safety minister said, “this government does not condone the use of torture in any way”. He also said, “If there’s any indication, any evidence that torture may have been used, that information is discounted”.

Would the minister please tell us what has changed? Why the sudden tacit endorsement of the use of torture as a matter of policy?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, information obtained by torture is always discounted. However, the problem is whether one can safely ignore the information if Canadian lives and property are at stake.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary to that question in order to get the minister to clarify his statement.

Will the minister table before the House the exact nature and wording of the directive that he issued to CSIS employees? Will he also explain how it is that the directive that he is putting forward is in any way compatible with Canada's obligations under international law and the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada? It is critical that those two points be clearly made to the minister who just gave the answer.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, we need to be clear. Canada does not condone torture, we do not engage in torture and CSIS and its employees are bound by Canadian law. The minister of course clarified what I would hope the leader of the opposition and the third party would agree with, which is that, in situations where a serious risk to public safety exists and where lives may be at stake, CSIS should make the protection of life and property its overriding priority.

Of course we oppose the use of torture but we believe that Canada's security agencies should prioritize the protection of life.