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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judiciary.

Topics

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction here.

What I said was that, as soon as the RCMP provided the department of immigration with the necessary information, the department issued the appropriate notice and Mr. Amodeo was arrested within three weeks; he is in prison at this time.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Canadian Alliance Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, for two years the RCMP knew Gaetano Amodeo was a convicted murdered and for two years Mr. Gaetano Amodeo had several contacts with the department of immigration.

The department of immigration claimed it did not know. The RCMP says it did know. Either way the government has failed Canadians. Which of these two ministers will the Prime Minister ask to resign?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the two ministers have been carrying out their work as ministers in a way that indicates the highest of integrity and the highest of ideals. I think the hon. member should recognize that, instead of making these unwarranted innuendos, assertions and slurs.

Media ConcentrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Deputy Prime Minister would have us believe, it is a cause of considerable concern that the owner of a major newspaper chain, and one that wants to concentrate the media still further, would impose his opinion on journalists and influence editorial policies in order to come to the rescue of the Prime Minister, who is in a predicament.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether the example of Mr. Asper, who is highly placed at CanWest Global Communications, is not eloquent proof that the concentration of Canada's press constitutes a very grave danger, the danger that political reporting will reflect the views of the Prime Minister and his government?

Media ConcentrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe Mr. Asper enjoys the same freedom of speech as Conrad Black.

Media ConcentrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister's reply is not very reassuring.

I would remind him that, given the fact that Mr. Asper controls the majority of Canada's newspapers, it is of considerable concern to the members of this House, the reporters in the gallery and the people listening to us that the government attaches so little importance to a situation of information control such as we have here, which serves this government's purposes and shows just how arrogant it is.

Media ConcentrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is serious, he can file a complaint with the Competition Bureau. I note that he had nothing to say when Conrad Black controlled those same newspapers. I wonder why that is.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is very serious. We have a situation where one minister tells us one thing. The solicitor general appears to withhold information. It is all related to the security of our citizens and an accused murderer, and the Deputy Prime Minister stands up, laughs and makes a joke about it.

The principle of ministerial responsibility is a foundation of our democracy. Will the Prime Minister ask one or both of these ministers to resign over this irresponsible action?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not making a joke about the matter. I treat it very seriously and I have given serious answers.

The joke is to be found in the words of the Leader of the Opposition in not looking at what I have to say and treating it with the same seriousness as I am willing to treat a serious question from him.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is a living demonstration. Five minutes ago he was joking about this matter and now he says he was not.

The Prime Minister has rejected the principle of ministerial accountability with regard to the HRDC file. He has rejected the principle of ministerial accountability with regard to the Shawinigate mess, and now he is rejecting ministerial responsibility and accountability related to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor General.

When will the Prime Minister live up to at least one of his red book promises, the one of ministerial accountability, hold one of these ministers to account and ask for their resignation?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if I did not want to be accused by the Leader of the Opposition of making jokes about him, I would say that his followers just got up to give him a standing ovation for his comedy routine.

If what he said were serious, he would recognize that the ministers have acted with the utmost integrity and that there is no basis for calling on either of them to resign. They are carrying out their jobs in a very efficient and effective manner.

LumberOral Question Period

March 12th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade has just told us that everyone in Canada wanted to see a return to free trade in the softwood lumber industry, which is true.

How does this square with his statement in the House a few weeks ago to the effect that he was contemplating transitional measures before the application of free trade, before the end of the agreement on March 31?

How does this square with the parliamentary secretary's statement about a long term objective in connection with free trade? Are all these muddled statements not just a way of getting Canadians ready for the idea of throwing in the towel?

LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will be very clear. I think that after consultation with industries across Canada, after very close consultation with provincial governments, we are absolutely determined to head in the direction of free trade.

Obviously, if the agreement ends on March 31, this means we will be in a free trade situation on April 1. It is my hope that, for the good of every one of our industries throughout the country, we will get through this transition to free trade as flexibly as possible.

LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 1 will see either a transition to free trade or free trade. The government must tell us what its intentions are.

What is very worrisome is that just today, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade issued a communiqué saying that the government is still evaluating a broad range of solutions and ideas in connection with the softwood lumber dispute.

With just three weeks to go until the agreement terminates, how does the government propose to avoid a trade war with the Americans over softwood lumber?

LumberOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member for Joliette knows full well that if we have free trade, we face the possibility of trade conflicts.

Since we will no longer have an agreement, which is what his party seems to want, this means that the United States may resort to their national laws and free trade panels.

Do not therefore ask me, on the one hand, to guarantee trade peace and, on the other, to negotiate nothing and head in the direction of free trade. The Bloc Quebecois' position is completely contradictory.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is not just rolling out the red carpet for mafiosi but for international terrorists too.

Today in Los Angeles, Ahmed Ressam will be on trial for smuggling explosives into that country from Canada. He was here since 1994. He missed his refugee hearings. He was arrested for stealing computers but he still was not extradited from Canada.

We now know that Mr. Ressam was operating a terrorist headquarters out of his Montreal apartment for the world's most dangerous terrorist, Usama bin Ladin. Why did the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship not enforce the law of the land and extradite this dangerous terrorist when she knew that he was breaking Canadian law?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I understand that a deportation order had been made against this individual but the country of which he was a citizen, Algeria, was unwilling to take him back. There was no third country willing to take him. An immigration adjudicator ordered that he be released and report, and of course we know what happened after that.

The department and the government were not lax. They were working to get him out of the country and they were unable to find a country willing to take him.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the cavalier attitude the government has toward enforcing the laws of the land, protecting our borders and protecting Canadians from terrorists is really quite disturbing.

This man was detained by immigration but let go. He was arrested by the police after that for stealing. How is it that we could have allowed this man, who is known to our officials to be dangerous, to operate a terrorist cell for Usama bin Ladin, together with Fateh Kamel and Said Atmani, both of whom are now on the most wanted international list of terrorists? Why were they allowed to operate a terrorist cell in Montreal under the nose of the government?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is wrong. They were not allowing him to do what he is alleging.

Mr. Ressam is on trial now in the United States. I hope the hon. member was not trying to say things that will prejudice the successful outcome of the trial. It sounds like it.

I want to say that Canadian authorities have co-operated fully with the American authorities. They are assisting in the prosecution. I think the hon. member should give recognition to that fact.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Liberal Northumberland, ON

Mr. Speaker, road salt has been in the news a great deal lately both because of concern over its use and its impact on the environment.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House what he is doing to protect the safety of Canadians on our nation's roadways while furthering the protection of the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our purpose on this file is to make sure that we protect the safety of Canadians, particularly in the winter months, and at the same time attempt to protect the environment from the adverse effects of the chemicals that are used.

As a result, starting last year we have had consultations with Canadians which continue at this time so that we can resolve the issue of the protection of Canadians, which seems of little interest to the opposition but is important to the government.

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister will know that the NDP has raised concerns about concentration of ownership in the newspaper industry in a previous parliament. The Prime Minister even seemed concerned about it at one time.

Given the obvious politicization of newspaper ownership represented by the recent letter by Mr. Asper, I wonder whether the government would be prepared to revisit the possibility of bringing in measures to deal with concentration of ownership in the media, now that it could do it without looking like it was responding to criticism but rather to praise.

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, last year the Minister of Canadian Heritage looked at this issue very seriously and is in the process right now of actually announcing a red or a blue ribbon panel of experts who will look into this issue.

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thought she almost said red book panel, mixing her metaphors.

TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of trade once made a commitment to me in committee that he would sign no more free trade agreements that included investor state dispute settlement mechanisms like we find in chapter 11 of NAFTA.

Could he tell us whether the government is committed to not signing any free trade agreement, or even negotiating one in Quebec City, that includes any kind of investor state dispute settlement mechanism pursuant to the commitment that he made to me on the record in committee last year?