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House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, long before the hon. gentleman's question, I have indicated both in the House and outside that the government will be dealing with this issue before the expiry of the existing situation at the end of this year. I would also point out to him that the government has been thoroughly engaged in looking for the right kinds of solutions to this problem.

Over the last two years we have invested over $100 million in the search for solutions for the apparel and textile industry. We continue to try to get the configuration that will best suit all dimensions of the industry. We are doing that on the recommendation of the Liberal government caucus.

PrivacyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, so much for fixing the democratic deficit. There is a unanimous report from the House of Commons committee relevant to the issue and the minister will not act. It is very clear.

I would now like to ask the President of the Treasury Board a question about the Patriot Act and the protection of personal information. We know that CIBC customer files are subject to the Patriot Act.

What we do not know, and this is my question for the minister, is how many Canadian men and women are currently being investigated?

PrivacyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there was indeed an unfortunate incident regarding the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce that will be investigated by the Privacy Commissioner upon receipt of a complaint.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 30th, 2004 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, ever since it was revealed that the immigration minister fast tracked one of her campaign workers to the head of the line, the fairness and integrity of Canada's immigration system has been called into question. Helping the minister get re-elected gave this lucky person a payoff of preferential treatment.

Why is the minister being allowed to continue making sensitive decisions when she has already blackened our country's reputation for fairness?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the work I do as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and I intend to continue doing that.

We have referred the report to the Ethics Commissioner. We will await a response.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister gave her campaign worker far more sympathetic and generous treatment than normal and the thousands who are waiting in line know this from bitter experience. Yet the minister expects them to believe that her decisions are not politically motivated.

She has been asked to back up this claim by tabling the distribution of permits she issued over the last 12 months by riding. Will she try to hide this information or will she table it today?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, there was a question tabled yesterday. I will respond to that question as soon as I have had a few more hours to get that information and respond. I will be glad to share it with anyone who wants to see it.

I might remind the member that 10 or 12 days before the election, she requested ministerial intervention. I did that ministerial intervention for the hon. critic strictly on merit and humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister grants work permits to campaign workers while legitimate applicants for funerals, marriages, or even life-saving transplants are declined. Doctors drive cabs, engineers wash windows and nurses sit home while strippers get fast tracked.

The minister appears to consider Liberal credentials more valuable than educational training. Immigrants and the 700,000 waiting for years to enter the country are insulted and outraged.

Will this disgraced minister step down immediately?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and I have both made plain that there is a process in place. The Ethics Commissioner is reviewing this matter. We see absolutely no reason for the opposition to continue this hounding of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

The Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament. He will report to Parliament. Obviously his report will be made public. Why do we not all await the results of his investigation?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are angry with the conduct of the immigration minister.

In Surrey a person with a Ph.D. had to wait for four years before being granted status. A naturopath in Toronto was refused a work permit despite having done her training in Canada.

My constituents are outraged that a stripper who worked on the minister's campaign has jumped the queue while there is a backlog of 700,000 applicants who follow the rules and wait patiently.

Will the minister who has compromised the integrity of the system do the honourable thing and resign?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me remind Parliament and the new member that it is Parliament that decides how many people come to Canada each year. That report is tabled on the first of November. Last year we welcomed 223,000 people to this great country of ours. It probably will be about 235,000.

Canada has a world renowned immigration system. I am proud of the system. I look forward to meeting with all of the people in the House and Canadians as we move forward to develop a 21st century immigration system.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the context of President Bush's visit, in addition to the Prime Minister's refusal to address the missile defence shield with the President, there is another equally important issue that will be covered in a shroud of silence: the Kyoto protocol.

Considering that even Russia has ratified the Kyoto protocol, why does the Prime Minister not use this visit by President Bush to encourage the Americans to ratify the Kyoto protocol to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in a long time, the U.S. government agreed last week to sign an agreement with all the Arctic countries to establish a joint policy on climate change. The Americans are excellent partners when it comes to the issue of climate change. However, they have a problem with the Kyoto protocol, whereas we are moving forward with it. We will work with the Americans on a post-Kyoto strategy.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to believe what the minister is saying, but if the Americans are so keen on talking about climate change that is what the Kyoto protocol is all about.

Will the government agree that if the Prime Minister at least raised the subject with President Bush it would be a show of good faith where the Kyoto protocol is concerned? Does silence not indicate a lack of conviction about Kyoto?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member gets his information, but we have talked about the Kyoto protocol. One thing is certain: the Americans are doing a great deal of research, which will be very useful in helping the planet fight the harmful effects of climate change. Just yesterday I signed an agreement with Vice Admiral Lautenbacher on integrating our weather forecasting systems. The Americans are key to a solution to this problem. If there is a country that can lead them to an international agreement, it is Canada and we will do our part.

Visit of the U.S. PresidentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, President Bush's visit and the impressive security system that comes with it are creating major inconveniences to businesses and services located within the security perimeter in the Hull sector of the City of Gatineau.

Does the federal government intend to offer monetary compensation to these businesses, which, through no fault of their own, are suffering large losses because of the security system set up for President Bush's visit?

Visit of the U.S. PresidentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we work very closely with local governments when visitors such as the President of the United States come to the nation's capital.

If in fact there are extraordinary, justifiable security related costs, then certainly we will sit down and talk to the City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau about those extraordinary, justifiable security related expenses.

Visit of the U.S. PresidentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are also many employees who are losing a day's work because of the security zone.

Does the government intend to offer compensation to these employees for the losses related to this forced holiday?

Visit of the U.S. PresidentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in the same vein as the Deputy Prime Minister answered, we will evaluate the situation, look at the concerns that are raised and any losses that have occurred, and come to a conclusion.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, judges have been handing out slaps on the wrist for some of the most serious criminal offences.

Now we find out that the odds of going to jail for getting caught growing marijuana are less than one in a hundred. The Liberal pot bill, Bill C-17, will change nothing. The courts will continue to function as a revolving door.

Yesterday the justice minister said he would consider mandatory minimum sentences. Will the justice minister impose minimum prison terms on grow operators?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our cannabis reform bill introduces four new offences to combat the grow ops as well as to combat grow ops in relation to organized crime. We have a serious response to the grow op issue.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, to paraphrase a Vancouver Liberal MP, joints are being burned on the lawns in front of Parliament as we speak.

The U.S. Ambassador speaking for the President has said, “Why, when we are trying to take pressure off of the border, would Canada pass a law that would put pressure on the border?” Border problems are already costing jobs in my riding and across Canada.

Will the Prime Minister inform the President today that he will put jobs ahead of joints and withdraw this bill?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are providing jobs and combating joints.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has failed to reinstate exemptions from duties for the textile and apparel industry. His inaction is leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs in Canada. I have already asked this question in the House, but jobs in Prescott, Ontario in my riding of Leeds--Grenville are in jeopardy.

Duty remissions for the industry will expire at the end of the year. All the minister has to do is sign the order. Time is running out. I have a pen right here, minister. You could even borrow it.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the minister is interested to hear that, but I think he would rather hear it through me. The hon. member will want to direct his remarks as always to the Chair and refrain from that kind of statement.

The hon. Minister of Finance.