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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ukrainian.

Topics

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our comments on the preliminary draft are now available on the net. First, I would point out that comments on the draft were gathered from all provinces.

Second, article 19 states specifically that the convention should be legally applicable, protect the cultures of the various countries, and enable the countries to have cultural policies and regulations that protect their individual cultural expression.

That is the objective of the convention. It will be discussed this afternoon in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the federal government's comments on the Internet last week, it had absolutely nothing to say about the second element of the UNESCO convention, the dispute settlement mechanisms.

Is its refusal to commit to the necessity of having such a mechanism not merely proof that, in actual fact, the government's true position is to subordinate the convention to the WTO rules?

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I would begin by suggesting that my colleague take a look at article 19. Canada has played a lead role as far as cultural diversity is concerned. Canada is the one responsible internationally for bringing all of the countries together, not just the members of the Francophonie. We will continue to play that lead role. This convention must be legally applicable. Culture is protected, and will continue to be protected under the convention.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, at the Quebec Liberal Party convention, Jean Charest spoke about Quebec's jurisdictions at the international level and said that what comes under Quebec's jurisdiction at home comes under it everywhere.

Is the government prepared to recognize that Quebec has a right to have its own voice at the international level, as regards its own jurisdictions?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that Canada speaks with one voice at the international level. Quebec is often represented in Canadian delegations, as are other provinces. This was the case at UNESCO and at other international forums. We continue to cooperate with our partners, the provinces.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jean Charest made the same statement in Charlottetown when he said that it is up to Quebec to assume its internal jurisdictions at the international level. Contrary to what she is saying today, at the time, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said that she could live in perfect harmony with such remarks.

Therefore, will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs commit to asking her government to allow Quebec to have its own voice abroad, as regards its own jurisdictions?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is always somewhat amusing to see the Bloc Québécois trying to be the spokesperson for the federalist government in Quebec City. This is always a bit of a surprise to me.

Right now, we have a case in point with the Francophone Summit. The premiers of Quebec and New Brunswick, and the Prime Minister of Canada, are working in partnership at the summit. This is an example to follow.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 24th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what a tangled web we weave. Denial after denial as the minister claims ignorance about the involvement of her chief of staff with strip club owners trying to get visas for exotic dancers.

Today's Toronto Sun says:

Terry Koumoudouros, president of House of Lancaster 1 and 2, said he met with Ihor Wons, [the minister's] senior policy adviser, at his club on The Queensway.

I called him (Wons) up...He came down and I asked for him to help me get the girls from the Dominican Republic.

What was the minister's right-hand person doing meeting at strip clubs to get these--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me also be very clear that I disapprove of this kind of business that was referred to, this industry. I am on record when it comes to all of those issues that involve women and I will fight on them any day. But we also have an obligation for minister's staff that have to meet with people when they are asked to do so. That is exactly what the staff member was doing.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is unbelievable. The minister's right-hand man for years and years goes and meets with the owner of strip clubs to give preferential treatment to people trying to get exotic dancers into the country while 600,000 legal immigrants are in line trying to get into this country.

The minister has made a disgrace of her office by breaking the rules and by not answering questions in the House. If she thinks what her chief of staff did was wrong, then has she fired him? If not, why not? Why will she not take responsibility instead of having him take the bullet?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what is disgraceful, and we have seen it day after day, is how those hon. members--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary Southeast asked a question and he is entitled to hear the answer. I cannot hear the answer because there is so much noise. I urge hon. members to restrain themselves. I know it is Wednesday, but the Deputy Prime Minister has the floor and we will hear the answer. Pity the member for Calgary Southeast who wants to hear this.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is disgraceful here is in fact how the hon. member chooses to misrepresent the Toronto Sun article. Is it not interesting how he only quotes from some portion of that article? I do believe that if he went on and was honest and fair with the members of this House, it would become clear that within that article is stated the fact that no preferential treatment was given to anyone.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Forseth Conservative New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, 70% of my community casework is about this dysfunctional immigration department. We now learn that this favoured dancer that we have been talking about, and her husband, first went to their own MP and were told, “Follow the rules”. Then the couple went to the immigration minister's campaign office in the election and were able to trade their political work for a government benefit. That is against the law.

Members of this House obey the law. Why cannot the minister?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I say this one more time, if that hon. member has--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Once again I remind the House. The hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam asked a question and he has a supplementary. How can he ask a supplementary if he cannot hear the answer to the question? The Deputy Prime Minister has the floor. We will hear the answer.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I have asked before, if that hon. member has any evidence to support the allegation that he has just made, I ask him to table that evidence in this House this afternoon.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Forseth Conservative New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the evasions continue. We have heard about the Ethics Commissioner, but it cannot be used to cover for ministerial accountability.

I put this to the Deputy Prime Minister. Everyone knows that the immigration department is in an absolute mess. The Prime Minister promised during the election to clean things up.

Will the Prime Minister just keep his word, assign some real priority to this national disgrace, replace the minister of immigration, and stop the ongoing damage to Canada's international reputation with this very poorly run department?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I find it only somewhat strange that this party in particular is now expressing such deep concern about our immigration policies.

Having said that, in fact I think our country is regarded around the world as one that has been welcoming for decades to immigrants and to refugees. We will in fact continue, and we know and this hon. minister has indicated that in fact she is reviewing our immigration policy. She is reviewing the way we deal with refugees in this country and that is a responsible thing to do. We would ask hon. members--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a taxpayer funded mailing bearing the Conservative logo, the opposition engages in partisan propaganda which states among other things that our military was once proud. I suppose opposition members have forgotten the role that our men and women have played in Haiti or Afghanistan or elsewhere, in their eagerness to score political points.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!