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House of Commons Hansard #81 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was coalition.

Topics

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister says we are at war with terrorists, the foreign affairs minister says we are at war with terrorists and the Prime Minister says we are at war with terrorists. Very soon they will have the opportunity to show whether the war is anything more than a war of rhetoric and words.

The United Nations will vote very soon on whether or not to make Syria, a state with a long record of sponsoring terrorist groups, a member of the United Nations security council. Will the government oppose terrorism by opposing Syria?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all the hon. member will know that we do not generally announce who we are voting for or against before security council elections, but in this case he will also know that to this point in time the group within which that country belongs has not nominated any other countries to the security council.

More important, he should bear in mind that the efforts of the United States to build a broader coalition have resulted in a clear denunciation by Syria of the acts that occurred last week and I am sure that he would not want to encourage steps that would make it more difficult to build up a coalition.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. The United Nations charter states that non-permanent members of the security council are to be elected with due regard to their contributions to international peace and security. Syria is known for its contributions to Hamas, to Hezbollah and to many other terrorist groups.

Why will the government not oppose those who support terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Let us make one thing very clear, Mr. Speaker. I know it is enticing to use strong rhetoric because the events of last week were events that evoke very strong reactions, but it is utter nonsense to suggest that the government is not going to reject and oppose those who support or promote terrorism or carry out terrorist acts or give succour or comfort to terrorists.

That is why we have made it clear from the beginning of this crisis that we stand with the United States in the war against terrorism and that we will do what we can in order to ensure that events like those of last Tuesday do not happen again.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is concealing his budget surplus and his entire financial margin of manoeuvrability is going to paying down the debt.

For the last budget year, the minister also allocated $17 billion to pay down the debt, with no debate whatsoever.

Since the events of September 11, the economic situation has changed radically. Will the Minister of Finance at last announce some credible budget forecasts with sufficient margin of manoeuvrability to respond to the present situation?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is in fact what I did in the statements of last October and this May. I made forecasts using the reserves for contingencies and prudence that have allowed us sufficient leeway in the past. Is this going to be sufficient? We shall see.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, several billion dollars worth of goods in transit are blocked at our borders; hundreds of conventions are cancelled, in Montreal in particular; carriers are in trouble; and there will be an inevitable increase in the costs of security.

Does the Minister of Finance not admit that the only way he can provide any serious responses to these very real problems is to promptly bring down a budget in the House?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the response to this question is not a budget, but rather that all countries of the world join together, as they are now doing, to fight terrorism and that we put in place measures to ensure free trade across our borders.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

September 19th, 2001 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The biggest security hole for the country is her ministry.

American authorities complain Canadian immigration documents are easy to forge. People smugglers use these forgeries because they are so easy to reproduce. When will the minister simply close this gap?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows the protection of Canadian documents and security protection for Canadians is a priority for the government. In Bill C-11 we referred to a new permanent resident card which will replace the IMM 1000. That has policy approval and we are hoping it will move forward as quickly as possible. It is under development.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, so we have a commitment that those cards are coming, but of course the minister always tries to tell us that all is well with her ministry. She often projects blame at us, claiming everything is okay, but her own officials tell her quite a different story.

The minister knows full well we desperately need more trained people on the front lines. It is an intensive people business.

She has the money and she has the mandate. Will she take action?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear with the member opposite. The department received $139 million in additional resources from the finance department. We have deployed those resources to achieve both mandates of our department, to enforce our laws and see that people are removed as quickly as possible. We have a new bill which will streamline those procedures.

However the country was built by immigrants so we have also deployed resources to ensure that we are able to bring to Canada those people who have legitimate businesses and also those we need to help to continue to build the country so we can continue to grow and prosper.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for International Cooperation.

The headline on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen today claims that “1 million flee Afghanistan” and that officials are predicting a major disaster. What is Canada doing to avert a human catastrophe in Pakistan and Iran?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. I am pleased to inform the House that just today the Minister for International Cooperation announced $1 million in humanitarian assistance to aid the millions of Afghani refugees who have fled to Pakistan and Iran. Our assistance will provide basic health care needs, shelter and water to these displaced people in Pakistan and Iran and it will be done through the UN agencies and their staff on the ground.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister has said that Canadian troops will be on the frontlines of any NATO attack against terrorists, but last month he sent 200 troops from one NATO commitment in Bosnia to another NATO commitment in Macedonia. That is like paying off one credit card account with another credit card.

Where is the minister going to get the frontline troops that he is promising?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we took the troops out of Bosnia simply because they were close to the scene and they were needed there immediately. It was the handiest thing to do and it was something that the United States and the other countries that are involved in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia wanted us to do. We have responded.

We responded at the time of the Kosovo air campaign and we have responded on numerous other occasions, including the present crisis, and we will continue to respond. We will continue to work with our allies, including the United States, in this campaign against terrorism.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, one way the minister says we certainly can respond is with our F-18s. He has pointed out that often as an example.

We have some of the best people in our forces, but because of government cuts to our military we no longer have the experienced pilots, the logistical support people, the smart bombs or the air to air refuelling that we need. We cannot now meet even the small commitment that we made in Macedonia if we are asked to do it.

The minister knows full well that we have lost more than half of our experienced pilots from the Kosovo campaign. What I want to know is where we are going to get the pilots to fly our F-18s when it comes time to meet that commitment of our allies.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all countries in the NATO alliance are experiencing a shortage of pilots. It is not just Canada. I will say that while we are trying to get more pilots and keep the pilots we have, we were able to respond to a request from the United States last week that asked us to put more of our CF-18s into the NORAD system to help in the protection of North America. We said yes. We did it.

Airlines IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the result of the recent terrorist attacks, airlines have suffered significant losses, and the Bush administration intends to give them financial support.

Air Canada has also asked the Government of Canada for compensation to cover the revenues lost as the result of increased security measures, which the Minister of Transport is preparing to analyze.

Will the minister promise before the House that any compensation paid to Air Canada will not be used to cover the airline's lack of administrative ability as may be seen in the poor quality of services offered in French and its deplorable lack of service to the regions?

Airlines IndustryOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained, I discussed the problem with the heads of all the airlines across the country. We are very concerned about maintaining the viability of the airlines.

However, we must have all the facts before a decision is made. Up to now, we have reached no decision on financial assistance, but we are studying the matter in its entirety.

ChinaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, September 17 negotiators agreed to terms allowing the People's Republic of China to join the World Trade Organization.

I call on the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific to explain the significance of China's WTO accession.

ChinaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan LiberalSecretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, Canada welcomes this historic event. As the agreement is fully ratified, China, our fourth largest trading partner, becomes a member of the rules based international trading system and therefore is bound by the provisions on transparency and the rule of law.

As the Minister for International Trade earlier indicated in another avenue, it means more enhanced business between Canada and China and also more opportunities, and therefore economic and social benefits for all Canadians.

Foreign AidOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the war against terrorism must also be fought on a non-military front. If we want the developing countries as allies to join us in this war, we also need non-military assistance. It is amazing that the government is overlooking this crucial area. What is the government doing to provide real assistance beyond its usual token contributions?

Foreign AidOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I assume that the hon. member on the other side was not listening. I announced in the House today that the Minister for International Cooperation just made an announcement of $1 million in humanitarian assistance to the millions of Afghani refugees who have fled to Pakistan and Iran.

We have a tradition in Canada of providing humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and we will continue to do so.

TerrorismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

I want to ask the minister whether the Prime Minister in his conversation with President Bush next week will not only reiterate the profound concern of Canadians that those who are responsible for terrorist acts will be brought to justice, but also that it be done fully in accordance with international law. Specifically, will the Prime Minister urge the President that the evaluation and assessment of the evidence of responsibility for these appalling acts be made by an international tribunal and not solely by the United States or NATO?