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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, where has the hon. member been the last number of years? Since 1995 we have had with the United States a Canada-U.S. shared border accord.

We have built on that with a Canada-U.S. shared border forum. We are pursuing the discussions based on existing agreements.

My hon. friend has an interesting idea but the world has gone on without him.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, 99% of the individuals and goods crossing the Canada-U.S. border pose no security risk to either country, but long line-ups have prevented expedited transit for these goods and people.

Will the government agree today to dedicate resources and infrastructure to expedite the movement of goods, people and services that do not pose any risk to either country?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have already had announcements from the relevant ministers, in national revenue, immigration and transport, on measures taken to strengthen our security, including our borders.

The real problem is on the American side. We have to be pressing, as our Minister of National Revenue is doing today, the American administration and congressional officials to take the necessary steps on their side of the border so that goods can go freely back and forth in the interests of both our countries.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has failed to do anything with the CSIS warnings regarding the 50 organizations and 350 individuals with terrorist links operating here in Canada.

It should now come as no surprise that Canada may have been used as a staging ground for the September 11 attack.

I ask the solicitor general, in the face of mounting evidence will he finally admit that there may have been or there still are groups or individuals here in Canada that assisted those responsible for the atrocities in the United States?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague is asking me is there any connection, direct link, between any Canadian and what took place in New York on September 11, at this time there is no direct link.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, police have arrested another man suspected of supplying fake documents that ended up in the hands of one of the hijackers of flight 93. The list of suspects apprehended in Canada and abroad with ties to Canada continues to grow. Yet the solicitor general refuses to admit that there may be a Canadian connection to the September 11 attack.

Now that the minister is openly sharing information, will he finally admit that documents forged in Canada were used by terrorists in the September 11 attack?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is discussing the biggest investigation that ever took place in this world. I am sure and I know that he would not want me to divulge any sensitive information that would affect that investigation. I will not.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, there will be a lot of jobs lost in the area of softwood lumber and related areas in Quebec regions, which have already been hit hard by high unemployment.

Since the huge cuts by the government, the employment insurance program no longer offers sufficient protection to workers in the hard hit regions.

Could the Minister of Human Resources Development not have some feeling for the workers who are going to lose their jobs and reverse her decision to shelve the unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, which proposed reasonable, specific and realistic solutions?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would note that we are concerned about the potential impact of the recent decision in the softwood lumber question and the impact it may have on workers in this sector. We are fortunate in Canada that we have an employment insurance system that is strong and flexible and is there to help Canadians who find themselves without employment.

We anticipate that the majority of Canadians working in the softwood lumber sector will be eligible for employment insurance should they need it.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has the solution in her hands. The North Shore, the lower St. Lawrence, the Gaspé, the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and other regions have an unemployment rate of some 15%. They are the regions that will be hit most by the American decisions on softwood lumber.

After taking billions of dollars from the employment insurance fund to pay for the government's deficit, will the minister not admit that she should now draw a little money from the fund for those who have lost or will lose their job in the coming weeks? It is a matter of dignity as well as justice.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that in addition to income supports we transferred to the government of Quebec almost half a billion dollars for it to use specifically in circumstances like this to help deal with challenges region by region.

I would also note that the hon. member has in his own hands an opportunity to participate with us in communities in Quebec that are faced with challenges in the area of seasonal work. As I did at committee, I would encourage him to work with us to find local solutions to these local problems.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Samir Mohamed is a friend and partner of Ahmed Ressam and a known criminal involved in terrorist activities. He entered Canada in October 1997 on a visitor's visa and, guess what, two weeks later he applied for refugee status. This claim was denied.

I would like to ask the minister, why is he still here in Canada after having his claim denied in 1997?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, recently the leader of the official opposition has been making requests that all refugee claimants who arrive in Canada without proper documentation be detained and actually jailed.

I see members applauding that suggestion.

I would also point out to him and to members of his party that since September 11 he has been advocating that we allow a failed refugee claimant to stay in Canada and he arrived even before 1997. I want to know from the Leader of the Opposition, does he want us to put him in jail or does he want us to allow a stay of deportation?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, what was that? I do not know what that was about. I am not the Leader of the Opposition.

I want to talk a bit about the bumbling over there. Now I have found out that Samir Mohamed was given yet another refugee hearing this past September. According to a transcript of United States evidence, over the last four years he has been raising money in Canada for terrorist activities through guns, credit card fraud and robbery.

What does it take for this government to refuse an individual--

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that privacy legislation does not allow me to give details of individual cases, but what I can point out to him is that they want to have it both ways. They want to suggest that we put in jail and detain all undocumented refugees, and even when those claimants have failed they then make representations to allow them to stay.

I would like to know how that party can justify both positions. I would like to know what its position is today. Is it to put him in jail or let him stay?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

November 1st, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the prime minister of Israel. Today he will be meeting with the Palestinian Authority, if he has not done so already.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that Canada's objective is to get Israel to recognize the Palestinians' right to a viable state and withdraw from the occupied territories, and to get the Palestinian Authority to recognize the state of Israel's right to exist and have its security respected?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister's goal is to encourage both parties to return to the negotiating table and end the violence, particularly against civilians, in Israel and elsewhere. I hope his efforts will be successful.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the sharp rise in violence in the Middle East and the importance of peace for the situation around the world, can the Deputy Prime Minister assure the House that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, like many others, including his French counterpart, will urge the parties to enter into negotiations without prior conditions?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has encouraged negotiations. He will continue to negotiate and I hope that there will be a return to the negotiating table and that peace will be restored in the Middle East.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, when the opposition calls upon the minister of immigration to protect our refugee system by taking firm measures against those who abuse the generosity of Canadians, she denies the system has failed or, like today, simply hides information.

Now the department's own figures demonstrate that the number of claimants is out of control, with at least double the anticipated numbers. Why will the minister not put the necessary legislation and resources in place to protect legitimate refugees and weed out those who would criminally abuse our system?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am the first person to acknowledge the fact that changes need to be made in the existing refugee determination system. That is why we brought in the bill, which has just been passed in the Senate, I am pleased to say, even though the members opposite did not support it.

I think that the streamlining of the procedure will do exactly what the member opposite is asking for. However, I would repeat again that on one hand they are asking us to take one policy objective while they are making representations quietly for the exact opposite policy objective. I think that inconsistency should be brought to their attention and to the attention--

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Provencher.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, this minister when she has no answers simply name calls or hides information. She continues to ignore the need for an effective refugee determination system. Her neglect has resulted in unprecedented abuse of our system by bogus refugees and criminals. Even today she has rejected effective proposals. Why has she placed--

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.