House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is news to those who waited for months, if not years, for similar answers. Never have the wheels of immigration justice turned so fast as for the Conservative friend and British criminal, Conrad Black. We no sooner learned of Black's application to return to Canada than there he was sitting in his mansion in Toronto. This is the same man who, from his prison cell in Florida, lauded the Prime Minister as belonging to “the ranks of the most important federal leaders of Canadian history”.

Would the minister tell us—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, does the lavish praise for the Prime Minister explain how this convicted fraudster slipped into Canada so quickly?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I really find the NDP's position on the politicization of the immigration system bizarre.

The reality is that the NDP leader intervened to seek political privilege for a convicted cop shooter in the United States, a foreign national convicted of shooting and wounding a police officer. The NDP wanted political intervention to give that person a temporary resident permit. It wanted political intervention to stop a former vice-president of the United States from coming to Canada. Now it wants political intervention to override a decision of public servants on this individual's application. Our system is characterized by the rule of law, not political prejudice.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, as members can hear, hypocrisy abounds. Conservative friends—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Newton—North Delta has the floor.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, hypocrisy on the side of my colleagues across the aisle abounds. Conservative friends get to jump the queue while legitimate refugees take their chances before a board stacked with Conservative appointees. We now know that those who fail the process to become a refugee judge get to have a do-over until they are rewarded. We do not know how many failed candidates are appointed anyway because the decision happens behind closed doors.

Why is the government refusing to implement a fair and open process to appoint these judges who make life and death decisions?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it gets stranger and stranger over there. We are, in fact, completely depoliticizing the process for the refugee protection division. In the future, that body will be staffed by professional members of our permanent public service, not by Governor in Council appointees.

I should point out for the member that we have already massively improved the appointments process for appointments to the IRB. Only one out of every ten applicants makes it through the pre-screening process and is considered for appointment. We have appointed high quality candidates. The IRB is responsible for deciding which individuals will staff the RPD in the future as public servants. That is how it should be.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives are convinced that the procedure was fair and not hypocritical, they need to go public with it. We are talking about a secret procedure to arrange that their friends are judges in cases where refugees no longer have access to essential drugs for chronic illnesses. While the Conservatives are busy engaging in favouritism, they are not doing their job with refugees.

When is the minister going to put an end to the favouritism and start to focus on the real immigration issues?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, there is no favouritism.

To begin with, we have implemented a completely independent system for the appointment of IRB members, with a pre-selection process in which 90% of applicants are not put forward for appointment.

Second, we are creating a system in the Refugee Protection Division whereby, in future, officials from the IRB, an independent and quasi-judicial organization, will be the decision-makers, and not people appointed by the governor in council.

That means that we have an independent system controlled by the IRB and not by the government.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the budget bill completely rewrites Canada's environment laws. In the Senate, the Liberals asked that the bill be split up so that the relevant Senate committee could study it. The government actually agreed.

Since the Conservatives agreed to break up the bloated bill for Senate committee study, why not the same for the elected House? Even better, and following the same logic, why will the Conservatives not break up the bill into separate pieces of legislation so we can not only study them individually at committee but we can actually vote on each part? Why will the Conservative members of Parliament not do their job? Why will they not allow the members of Parliament on the other side to do their job?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012, which is the budget, is all about promoting jobs and growth and long-term prosperity in Canada. We are on a good track. We have almost 700,000 net new jobs in Canada since the end of the great recession in July 2009, but the world economic recovery is fragile. We need to move forward with the budget. That is why, just as every other year, there is a big budget bill in the spring and there will be another one in the fall. I look forward to full debate in this place and in committee, but it is all about jobs and growth. We need to remember that.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

May 7th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, today the Veterans Ombudsman released a report in which we learn that 60% of Veterans Review and Appeal Board decisions reviewed by the Federal Court contained reversible errors of fact and law. He suggests that veterans are not getting the benefit of the doubt in these cases. Veterans deserve better.

Will the minister conduct a review of the entire appeal process, with a goal to provide our veterans with a fair, independent, non-partisan and professional appeal process? Will he do that?