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House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was victims.

Topics

Daniel Andrew IannuzziStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to Dan Iannuzzi, who passed away in Rome over the weekend.

Dan Iannuzzi, a third generation Italian Canadian, dedicated his entire life to international and multicultural media. He founded Corriere Canadese and the Ethnic Press Association of Ontario.

I have known Dan for over 28 years, an inspiration to many over the years and a friend of my family. He was a man with deep passion and a vision for Canada. I worked with him when he fought for and launched CFMT-TV, the first multilingual television service in the world.

Dan Iannuzzi was fiercely Canadian and proudly Italian, the masthead on his newspaper. The country has lost a champion and community leader with the passing of Daniel Andrew Iannuzzi.

GrenadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. speaker, I am pleased to rise today in honour of the visit of the right hon. Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada. It is a pleasure to have him here in Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity to bring attention to the current state of affairs in Grenada. It has now been over two months since the wrath of hurricane Ivan hit that island. In a matter of hours, lives were changed forever. Immediately after Ivan struck, Canadians and members of our communities rallied to contribute relief materials and to raise funds.

The Government of Canada has also responded. The regions that were hit by Ivan have received emergency aid. At the same time, we are very concerned about the stress level of individuals in Grenada who need our assistance at this time.

The fight is not yet over. Ninety per cent of the island was devastated. I call on all of my colleagues to continue to support the efforts to rebuild Grenada.

2004 Grey CupStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise to congratulate the Toronto Argonauts on winning the 92nd Grey Cup yesterday, which I watched on TV with my family.

Congratulations in particular to Damon Allen, the game's MVP, and to coach Mike “Pinball” Clemons for guiding a team that nobody picked to win at all, and bringing the Grey Cup back to Toronto. All across Canada millions watched yesterday's exciting game which capped off the CFL's renaissance season.

The CFL is our game. We would not trade three downs and a bigger field for the world.

Congratulations to the Argos, to the B.C. Lions who also played a great game, and to the city of Ottawa for making yesterday's Grey Cup a huge hit.

It is good to see the CFL back. We look forward to another exciting season next year when the Grey Cup will be held in Vancouver.

HousingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Liberal Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that November 22 is National Housing Day.

Shelter is a foundation upon which strong and healthy communities and individual dignity are built. While the majority of Canadians are well housed, there are still 1.7 million Canadians in need of affordable adequate housing. Therefore the government is committed to ensuring that those Canadians who are most in need can access safe and affordable housing.

Over the next few years we are investing $1.8 billion to address the increased need for affordable housing and housing for the homeless, as well as renovation of existing housing stock.

So far, more than $286 million has been claimed for the provision of over 12,700 affordable housing units across Canada. Through our national housing agency, we provide an additional $2 billion a year in housing assistance through long term agreements primarily in support of some 636,000 lower and moderate income households.

In the recent Speech from the Throne the Government of Canada committed to extend and enhance existing programs such as affordable housing, RRAP and SCPI.

2004 Grey CupStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Grey Cup holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians. An entirely Canadian championship in an exclusively Canadian league is a unifying and defining part of our identity.

Yesterday we were thrilled as two teams battled on the gridiron to the final minute to determine who would take home Lord Grey's gift to Canada.

An outstanding B.C. Lions team moved to an early lead with pinpoint passes and rugged running, showing us they truly belonged in the big game. But the Toronto Argonauts, led by a disciplined defence, super special team members, and outstanding play of Damon Allen's commanding presence, methodically marched ahead to achieve victory in Canada's great national game.

Today we congratulate both teams for a superb show. We pay special tribute to President Keith Pelley and the entire Toronto Argonauts franchise, the 2004 Grey Cup champions. They demonstrated that with hard work and superior leadership, the underdog team in blue can prevail to surprise the pundits and come out on top in Canada.

Correctional Officers WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week marked the launch of Correctional Officers Week, its theme: We're inside too.

What a sad statement that is, when we see the inaction of the federal government with respect to the negotiations between the correctional officers union and management. Once again, after meetings on November 15 and 16, the Treasury Board has rejected the union's recent proposals out of hand.

The conciliator says only that negotiations with the Treasury Board cannot progress as long as Treasury Board remains inflexible. Correctional officers have been without a contract for more than two years now. When will the President of the Treasury Board make the decisions that will allow settlement of this matter which has been at a standstill for far too long?

West Coast Light StationsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has silenced 17 foghorns on the west coast. The last three were silenced in September but after a storm of protest, they have been reconnected. Government members of Parliament are beating their chests as if restoring these three has resolved the issue. It has not.

The minister, who so brilliantly dismissed west coast fog as not a problem, now says he will restore these three foghorns, at least temporarily. He does not want to talk about the other 14 and hopes the issue will go away. This will allow his bureaucrats to continue to dismantle west coast light stations piece by piece.

Coastal British Columbians know the DFO game of slowly making the light stations non-functional and they are not impressed. When will the minister stop dismantling the lights?

Physician's AssistantsStatements By Members

November 22nd, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lui Temelkovski Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to address the issue of the recognition of physician's assistants within the federal health care system. Physician's assistants are trained to a level of skill that makes them an invaluable resource to health care and to Canadians as a whole.

Originating for the purpose of providing top-notch health care to military personnel, the physician's assistants' extensive skill sets provide Canada with an opportunity to bridge a gap that currently exists within the federal health care system.

Physician's assistants have long been recognized in other nations for their unique skills as medics trained to a higher level of independent duty. Their training ranges from orthopedics, pediatrics and emergency medicine to psychiatry, internal medicine and general surgery. They are also qualified to provide prescriptions.

Many Canadian trained physician's assistants have gone abroad to practise as their skills are not yet properly recognized in Canada--

Physician's AssistantsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. We will now proceed to oral questions.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, during the recent election campaign, word on the street was that one could jump the immigration queue by working on the minister's campaign. According to reports this past weekend, the minister's staff actually set up shop in her campaign office, files and all, and said that help could be had.

How can the minister justify having staff doing immigration department business in her campaign office in the middle of an election?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate the fact that last week I personally asked the Ethics Commissioner to review the whole process. Now that the official opposition has approved of that process as well and did a subsequent request, we should let the Ethics Commissioner do his job

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the minister were concerned about the ethics, she would have asked the Ethics Commissioner before it appeared in the newspaper and was raised in the House of Commons.

The minister has been asked to explain why her staff was doing immigration business in her office. She can offer no answer to the House. If she has to wait for an answer, why does she not step aside until the Ethics Commissioner can answer the question for us?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the minister did the right thing in referring this matter proactively to the Ethics Commissioner. The Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament. The minister has also indicated that upon receipt of the report from the Ethics Commissioner, she will make that report public. What the minister is doing is both accountable and transparent.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

The government would not know accountable and transparent if it hit it between the eyes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration failed to report the presence of an illegal immigrant, encouraged others to jump the queue, and encouraged her staff to deal with immigration files while working in her campaign office.

Is the minister prepared to do the right thing and resign from cabinet until the Ethics Commissioner has ruled on the case?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the minister proactively referred this matter to the Ethics Commissioner. We all know that the Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament. The Ethics Commissioner will review this matter. The Ethics Commissioner will report, and the minister has indicated that the report will be made public.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the immigration minister's campaign office worked a bit like a beer store. Walk in, drop off a case and walk out with a permit.

The minister's senior adviser, Ihor Wons, on leave from his job in Ottawa to help the minister's re-election bid, fast tracked the immigration files from the campaign office. On the stripper file, the Toronto Star was told that “they opened the file and sat down with us”.

How can the minister justify the fixing of immigration files for campaign workers by political staff on leave? Will she step aside until this matter is resolved properly?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, we have an independent Ethics Commissioner for whom we all have asked. I have asked that independent Ethics Commissioner to review all the aspects of this case, as has the opposition agreed to as well. I await the response of the Ethics Commissioner.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, apparently the minister's campaign office was a very busy place during the election and not just with election matters. It is reported that anybody ready to jump the queue would help in the office. They could come in and get assistance on immigration files. The queue jumper's husband stated that there was no question that the minister's campaign office was instrumental in getting an order to allow his wife to stay in Canada.

The evidence is mounting daily that the minister acted inappropriately in getting preferential treatment for a campaign worker. Again, will she step aside until this investigation is complete?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we have an independent Ethics Commissioner who was introduced and fought for by our Prime Minister on this side of the House because we wanted an independent and transparent government. I will await the Ethics Commissioner's response. I will not prejudge it, nor should the opposition should do that.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's farmers have chosen today to express their despair, after more than 18 months of having the American border closed to Canadian beef, particularly cull cattle.

How can the federal government be so insensitive to the plight of the farmers of Quebec, whose uncompensated losses have reached $241 million so far?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, those comments are just not accurate. Under business risk management, we have put more than $366 million with producers in the province of Quebec. That has been a substantial amount of money.

I was very pleased to see over the weekend the progress in opening the border, with the referral of the rule to the office of management and budget. We are working on that as well.

We are meeting with the organizations in Quebec. We understand that there is some additional work that needs to be done, and we are determined to do it.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear with the minister. Right now, a farmer can get between $100 and $200 for a cull cow. The same cow is then sold to consumers at between $800 and $1200. It is not surprising that the abattoirs have more than doubled their profits over last year.

I call on the minister to do something, which will cost him nothing, and that is to work with his counterparts from Quebec and the provinces to establish a base price for cull cows in order to save the farmers. It will cost him nothing, requiring only good faith.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the province of Quebec. I talked as recently as last Thursday with the minister from Quebec. The member is not accurate when he says that no money is flowing: $92 million under the TISP and $17 million under the cull animal program.

I do agree that there is a need to do additional work. There is a need to deal with this specific problem. We intend to work with producers and with the government to deal with just that.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, if it is so clear then I invite the minister to go say that to the farmers currently protesting in Montreal at Lafontaine park. He can go tell them that and see if it is so clear.

The farmers have announced that they will set the floor price for cull on November 29. This is a pressure tactic they are using to save their business.

Does the government realize that it has just a week to act and work with the farmers from Quebec and all the provinces on setting a floor price in order to save hundreds of farm businesses in Quebec from bankruptcy?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Bloc Québécois has just realized that there is a problem in Quebec. I have been working on this issue since I was appointed in July. It is nice that the Bloc members finally have come to recognize there is an issue.

We are working with producers in Quebec and with the Government of Quebec. We understand that there is an issue with cull animals, and we are working to deal with that.