This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, again I say to the hon. member, the Auditor General never said that. She said, in answer to a question on that, exactly the opposite. The issue that she raises is an important one. It is one I have been raising here. It is one that I met with the Speaker about not too long ago. I raised this with the committee. I raised it with the Senate committee on finance.

The House has to address this, but it is an officer of the House. There has been no reduction in the funding to the auditor's office, and there will not be. In fact, there has been a substantial increase.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister clearly bent the rules in granting a minister's permit to her stripper friend and campaign worker. This was done on the advice of senior adviser Ihor Wons. At the time, however, Mr. Wons was on leave of absence to work on the minister's election campaign. Three days before the election, the permit was issued as per his memo.

Could the minister explain why the political staffer, on leave from the department, was telling the department what to do?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member across the way never ceases to amaze me with his hypocrisy and his sanctimonious attitude when he is asking questions. He is discriminating against people because of a profession of which he does not approve.

Is it not ironic that the member for Edmonton--Strathcona tries to impress the House with his flamboyant vocabulary when talking about breaching the rules? Was he not clearly in breach of the rules when he asked his assistant to impersonate him on a Vancouver radio station? Now he stands up here and attacks me.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, these are serious questions that need serious answers. Another member of the minister's staff, her director of parliamentary affairs, was not on leave from her office, yet was in Toronto working on the minister's campaign at taxpayer expense. Her right-hand man was on leave, but giving orders to the immigration department, while her ministerial staff was working on her campaign for political purposes.

How can the minister justify this? Will the minister finally step aside in light of these ethical complications that she herself has created?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if members would check the blues, the minister has indicated on numerous occasions that she complied with all the guidelines. What we have here is continual badgering of the minister. The minister has said that she has complied with the guidelines. She has made it very clear. She has made it very clear that she looked at the immigration case on the basis of humanitarian and compassionate grounds, like she has looked at any other case that might come before her.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in a reply to a question from the member for Edmonton--Strathcona, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration stated, “No matter who these people are, they all are deserving of humanitarian and compassionate consideration”. She should have said, “If you are a Liberal, you move to the front of the line”.

Is immigration based on merit or on returning Liberal favours?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I was going to bring a book with me, which is thick, full of all the requests I get from all members of the House, lots of them being from the Leader of the Opposition, from the House leader and from the opposition critic. I get requests every day, yesterday included. When I leave this House and go back to the lobby, there is usually somebody from the member's side waiting there.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, the question to the minister was about merit, not supposition. To add insult to injury, the Prime Minister's communications director, Scott Reid, knew about supposed improprieties at Citizenship and Immigration. How is it that the Prime Minister supposedly did not?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, all requests for intervention from all members of the House are looked upon with one reason. What is the merit of the case? Does it fit into the humanitarian and compassionate grounds? Does it fit into the Canadian way? Only on those merits of the case, did I issue a permit for the official opposition critic just before the election last year. Did I ask if this person was working on his campaign? No, I simply asked and responded to a request on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, and I issued the permit.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

November 19th, 2004 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 16, 2005, the Kyoto protocol will come into effect. Action is urgently required. Yesterday, the Government of Quebec expressed outrage at the sectoral approach developed by the federal government, which penalizes Quebec, and it wants the implementation of the Kyoto protocol in Quebec to be carried out by the Government of Quebec.

Could the Minister of the Environment give us the assurance that the territorial approach setting an overall objective for Quebec will guide the bilateral negotiations between Quebec City and Ottawa?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my relations with Quebec's environment minister are excellent, and they will remain excellent in spite of the Bloc's attempts to drive a wedge between us.

I can assure the House that the negotiations with the Province of Quebec, as with all the other provinces, are progressing well. The negotiations with the major industries for an agreement on greenhouse gas reductions by industrial sector are also progressing very well.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's environment minister has agreed to change the federal government's position from a sectoral approach to a territorial one and rejects Quebec's being compared with Saskatchewan or Alberta, where greenhouse gas emissions have increased considerably since 1990.

If the Minister of the Environment is serious when he says that Quebec will be rewarded for its efforts, could he give us the assurance that 1990 will be used as the reference year for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and not 2010, as the federal government is now proposing?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the negotiations to ensure that we have a system in place which is both environmentally and economically efficient for the major industrial emitters are being masterfully conducted by the Minister of Natural Resources, and I want to congratulate him on that.

I can assure the House that Quebec's industries will be front line partners.

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though today is mid-November, according to the odd calendar of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, we still do not know the government's position on the draft convention on cultural diversity that is currently being negotiated at UNESCO.

Will the minister present this position today, in the House? If not, will she tell us how many more days mid-November will last before she does?

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to answer the question.

As hon. members know, it is this government that has actually taken a lead at the UNESCO convention. In fact, at the UNESCO meeting in Paris in September, Canada was appointed as a rapporteur by 132 countries I believe.

November 15 is the first deadline for putting in proposals for the UNESCO convention and the drafting party will be meeting on December 15, of which Canada is also a member, and the intergovernmental meeting will happen in February.

If the hon. member would like to see the document, may I suggest that he bring that forward at the standing committee.

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as regards the two main issues of this convention, could the minister confirm, first, that the government will ensure that the UNESCO convention is not subordinated to the WTO agreements and, second, that it includes a dispute settlement mechanism to avoid having trade tribunals determine what is an acceptable cultural policy?

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I think the issue the hon. member raises is very important but that is not the only issue. Many other issues need to be discussed.

As I am very interested in this file, may I suggest that at the next meeting of the standing committee we put this forward as the next future business and we look at the document before the House recesses for Christmas.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Harrison Conservative Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal immigration minister recently allowed an exotic dancer who worked on her election campaign to jump the queue for temporary residence in Canada.

The immigration minister has claimed that she has the ethics commissioner looking into this matter but we have learned today that she has not given him the necessary information to investigate.

Why has the immigration minister been allowed to remain in cabinet while misleading the House and bending the rules for Liberal friends?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. minister has answered this question already. She indicated that she provided the file to the ethics commissioner. She indicated that she spoke to the ethics commissioner. That is the information that she has provided to the House.

I do not understand why the hon. member does not expect the minister to state exactly what she has done for the benefit of the hon. member who is asking the question.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Harrison Conservative Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and we are not getting the answers to our questions.

Yesterday the Prime Minister booted the member for Mississauga—Erindale out of caucus for criticizing his leadership.

While the Prime Minister is peeling back his caucus one member at a time, why will he not bounce his immigration minister to the head of the line for demotion?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is very pleased with the work of the Minister of Immigration. She is extremely dedicated and sensitive to the needs of her clientele. She does not need to take any lessons from these members.

The minister fully answered all the questions put to her and she even submitted her case to the ethics commissioner. She said so herself and we must take her word. The word of the minister means something in this House and we believe her.

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Treasury Board minister implied just a few minutes ago, yesterday the Auditor General said that she will not be able to do her job because the government is cutting her budget by 15%.

Why is the Prime Minister undercutting the Auditor General? Is it to punish her for uncovering Liberal waste and corruption?

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, let me simply refer the member to the article, in which this is reported, in which Ms. Fraser says:

Ms. Fraser rejects suggestions that her budget is being squeezed because of her controversial reports.

What she is doing is working with us on the establishment of a new mechanism. Frankly, if members on the other side had taken the recommendations of the committee seriously, we would have solved this matter. I have not had a single member on the other side pay attention to these reports.

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, instead of reading newspaper accounts, the minister should be reading the records from the committee yesterday.

During the last election the Conservative Party proposed increasing the Auditor General's budget by $50 million. What is the member's solution to the problem, the Liberal position? It is to reduce the budget by 15%. That is appalling.

What is the Liberal government afraid of? Is it afraid the Auditor General will find more Liberal corruption? Is it afraid that we will find more billion dollar boondoggles, more gun registry scandals and more sponsorship scandals?

Office of the Auditor GeneralOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I realize it is an ongoing tactic of the other side to put lies in the mouths of important public figures.

The fact is that I met with the Auditor General this morning. I have met with the Auditor General frequently on this issue. I am one of the Auditor General's champions on this particular issue.

In fact, the government has increased the Auditor General's budget by 35%. In fact, there has not been a nickel cut. In fact, what is needed is an appropriate funding mechanism and if members would get their heads around that, we would fix it.