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House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources and I have each had occasion to say how excellent we think the California initiative is in this matter. Other American states are also considering adopting California's regulations, which are along the lines of what we want to do in Canada. I have said that I will be going to California soon for more detailed discussions with the state government.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

Canadians are increasingly opposing George Bush's star wars project in missile defence. Now, incredibly, we learn that the Prime Minister will not even raise the issue with the president when he is here in Canada. This is shocking.

The fact is that this program will put weapons into space. The Prime Minister likes to pretend that he does not know this fact.

Will the Prime Minister at least ask the President what the facts are when they meet here in Ottawa next week?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government has made it very clear that discussions are going on in Washington, but there is no pressure from either side to engage in a political discussion around this at this time.

I want to assure the House and tell the hon. member that I was present when the Prime Minister raised it in his meeting with Mr. Bush earlier this year. He made it very clear that Canada will never participate in any system of any kind that means the weaponization of space. The United States knows that is our policy and the Prime Minister has made that clear on many occasions.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, ignorance of the facts does not make them go away. The evidence is absolutely there and incontrovertible.

My next question is for the Minister of the Environment.

It is very interesting that we find Canada supporting the George Bush administration in Iceland in agreeing finally that the facts of climate change are incontrovertible.

However, why did Canada side with the U.S. in making sure that the recommendations of the scientists for an action plan were not adopted, once again, offside with Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, indeed, we have been able to convince our American friends to be with the other members of the Arctic Council for the first time in a long time. I want to say to the member that all four countries have agreed to act on it.

We have an action plan where each country will choose what it wants to do in order to address the issue. We will work with the other countries in order to have well coordinated action.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 26th, 2004 / 11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, every year thousands of women apply to come to Canada to escape persecution. The line is long but they patiently wait.

Women from around the world are trying to escape war, famine and disease but they must wait in line while exotic dancers get preferential treatment by the minister.

Why do some women get special treatment while the rest are treated so unfairly?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, someone referred to me yesterday as the minister of hopes and dreams, and that is exactly what I intend to be. We on this side of the House are working toward helping people to realize those dreams. We are looking at our immigration system and looking at bringing it into the 21st century. We are proud of the work we are doing on this side of the House.

I look forward to working with all parliamentarians as we move forward to an even more successful immigration plan in this country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the request of the Deputy Prime Minister, evidence was tabled proving that information was altered on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration's website. However the minister continues to state that the information is accurate when we know her website was altered to cover up double billing by her chief of staff.

The Deputy Prime Minister asked for and received the evidence. Now it is up to the Deputy Prime Minister to explain this ridiculous and juvenile behaviour.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it amazes me that this sacred House is used to throw such allegations all over the place.

I want to read the following, which I will table in the House. It states:

Following questions raised with respect to the former Chief of Staff's trip...the Finance Branch realized that the destination and purpose regarding this trip had been incorrectly reported on the departmental web site. The trip was reported on the English language web-page as a trip to Toronto and on the French language web-page as a trip to Ottawa.

If they had clearly looked and used their bilingualism and their efforts to improve their French language they would have read that correctly.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Charlie Penson Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration's chief of staff was rendezvousing with an owner of a strip club, other members of her staff were busy intimidating opposition MPs.

The message from the minister's staff was clear: opposition MPs would not want something unfortunate to happen to the applications from their ridings. It would be much safer for them to sit down and shut up.

Should all MPs who criticize misconduct by the minister and her staff expect to be put on a ministerial hit list?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, once again the members of the opposition are throwing unsubstantiated allegations. They simply read the morning newspaper and decide what allegations they will throw while they have the immunity of this House.

Let me repeat that there were no violations of the Privacy Act and the two young men who were reported on in that article are two of the finest young men I have ever met.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, how can they keep saying that this matter is before the Ethics Commissioner when these are brand new reports? The lines must really be humming between the minister's office and the ethics office.

Today's reports indicate that the minister's staff read the member for Winnipeg Centre a list of applications from his riding and implied they would be denied if he attacked her in the House for her role in fast tracking visas for strippers.

These new tactics further undermine the credibility of the minister. Does the Deputy Prime Minister support and condone these actions?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is really unfortunate that we are spending so much of this important question period time not talking about the issues that are of concern to Canadians, but simply picking up whatever garbage is in the newspaper and throwing it around because we have immunity in this place.

Let us get on to talking about the issues that matter to Canadians. Let us talk about the health care issues and all the positive things we are doing in this country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. A number of private conversations are going on in the House and it makes it very hard for the person answering or asking questions to hear himself think and for the Speaker to hear a word.

I would suggest that perhaps someone like the hon. member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam and perhaps the President of the Treasury Board could have a very useful discussion outside the doors at the far end. I am sure the member for Central Nova would be happy to go and act as chairman for their discussion out there.

In the meantime, we will go on with question period now. The hon. member for Montcalm.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the Quebec National Assembly, the Quebec minister of agriculture, fisheries and food asked the federal government to transfer all the powers necessary to establish a selling price for all meat and cull cattle slaughtered in Quebec.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to reply favourably to this request?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we are working very closely with the Government of Quebec, as well as with producers in the province, as well as, quite frankly, with producers right across Canada on the particular issue of cull animals. Those discussions have been progressing and we will continue with them.

Let me say very clearly that we understand that there is a specific issue that exists that producers need to deal with and we are prepared to continue to do the work necessary so that we can address it.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal minister refuses to act; he refuses to set a floor price for all of Canada; and he still has not answered the request from the Quebec minister of agriculture, fisheries and food.

Does his refusal mean that the minister prefers to protect the interests of the abattoir, which has given more than $45,000 to his party?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, under business risk management, specifically for the Province of Quebec, we provided some $366 million.

On the issue of slaughter capacity, on September 10 we put forward a very specific program that will assist in the development of new slaughter capacity. In reality the long term and medium term solution for the situation that exists in Quebec is to create new slaughter capacity within a competitive environment, and that is what we are working toward.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were quite surprised to say the least to learn of the existence of an immigration program that gives exotic dancers priority entry into Canada.

How does the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration justify the existence of such a program, which provides workers to an industry that blatantly exploits women?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday and as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration said yesterday, this program is under review. The government expects that the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Human Resources will review this program in the very near term.

I understand the objections and the concerns raised by all members on all sides of the House in relation to this particular program. It is time this program was reviewed and it will be.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, while thousands of immigration applications have been waiting for months, even years, the minister gives preference to exotic dancers under the pretext that there is a shortage of workers in this field.

How can the minister justify her haste to satisfy the demand of this industry and refuse to give priority to much more urgent matters?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we have a labour market needs assessment that is done through my colleague at HRSD. We have an industry whether we like it or approve of it. I clearly know that there are some members on the other side who clearly approve of this industry because apparently they frequent it quite often. However let me say that there is an industry in this country that has a need and we have an obligation to fulfill that need whether I like it or not either.

Rail TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport promoted himself from lobbyist to radio announcer to urban planner. But Jean-Claude Marsan, a respected professor at Université de Montréal, does not share his speculative views on CP, which he considers a backwards 19th century vision, like the Liberals' attitude about Mirabel.

Is the minister trying to favour friends of his riding at all costs?

Rail TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to answer this question on behalf of the minister. As the former chair of the transport committee, I can tell hon. members that the minister is working very hard to resolve issues across the country. He has made a decision relative to the transfer of these lands. The government is well satisfied with that and with the work he is doing.

Mirabel AirportOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister's two trademarks are land speculation and arrogance. Yesterday, he talked about confiscating agricultural land to give it to Bombardier, on top of the 5,200 acres it already has.

Is our reverse Robin Hood going to increase the burden on Mirabel farmers, or will he pledge to continue paying to the City of Mirabel the $2 million collected in taxes by the airport?