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House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the textile and apparel industry, like many other industries in the country, is going through a very substantial transformation.

The government has spent over $100 million in the last few years helping the industry to adjust. We are developing a program that will help with the adjustment in the textile and apparel industry going forward. We are very pleased with the progress that we are making and the consultations we are having with the industry.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday at the Subcommittee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment, the Free Trade Lumber Council sounded an alarm: the industry is at the end of its rope and is having difficulty absorbing the $300 million in legal fees associated with the unending softwood lumber dispute.

Does the Minister of International Trade intend to reimburse these staggering sums the industry has to pay to argue its case at international tribunals?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I will convey the views of the hon. member to my colleague, but at the same time, I reaffirm what is a very important two-track approach in Canada. We are continuing litigation as it involves the WTO and NAFTA and challenges of the U.S. duties. At the same time, we are negotiating for a long term resolution. There is a price to pay.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the context of this extraordinary challenge mounted by the U.S. government, industry representatives have again called on the federal government for help in getting through this critical phase. Reimbursement of legal fees and the availability of interest-free loans to prevent bankruptcy would go a long way in saving an entire industry.

What is the government waiting for to implement a true aid program for the industry, which it has been promising since 2002?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Barrie Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll LiberalMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I think I have answered that question. I said that I would share these concerns with my colleagues and that is exactly what I will do.

MarriageOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the veil is off the Liberals' plan to change the definition of marriage. The Liberals misled Canadians when they told us that their legislation would protect religious freedom. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that this provision of their act was not even within federal jurisdiction. In fact, across the country marriage commissioners are being told to resign if they will not perform ceremonies that conflict with their religious beliefs.

The Liberals told Canadians that they would defend the traditional definition of marriage and they did not. They told Canadians that they would protect religious freedoms and they have not. Why should we believe that they will protect--

MarriageOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

MarriageOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would just ask the hon. member to read question three of the reference when the government asked the Supreme Court as to whether religious freedom was protected. The Supreme Court unanimously answered “yes”. With regard to the solemnization of marriage, it would corroborate with the provinces.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government threatened Bishop Henry of Calgary when he dared to talk about Catholic teachings during the last election, and it did it using revenue agency's tax cops. When the bishop talked about these threats, Scott Reid, the Prime Minister's spokesman, called the bishop's comments, “a ridiculous and unconscionable allegation”. Scott Reid's attack on the bishop is despicable, an attack on his honesty and integrity.

Will he be made to apologize, and will he be disciplined?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely important that Canadians can have confidence that their charitable contributions go to the places where they are intended to go, and that churches understand the rules. I reported in the House the other day that churches had laid out very clearly to their members the dos and don'ts of this matter. That is the law. The agency is required to enforce the law, and it is very good for the integrity of charities in the country.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has spent quite a bit of time building expectations about his day care program. He has allowed many Canadians, especially low income parents, to believe that they will get all the free day care they need under his plan.

Could the minister confirm that the Liberals will not follow through on their promise to provide free universal day care as the Prime Minister promised?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is entirely mistaken. The campaign promise, as reiterated in the Speech from the Throne, is for a national early learning and child care system, according to the principles of quality, universal inclusiveness, accessibility and developmental. There has never been any kind of mention about it being a free system.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the reality is this day care program is not universal. It is a selective, targeted subsidy for professional urban parents who work nine to five.

Could the minister confirm how this universal day care program ignores the needs of stay at home parents, shift workers and families with important language and cultural needs who fall outside of the minister's universe?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the way in which Canadians look at important programs like education, health care and child care is that those are things that should be available to all Canadians as a way to improve the development of young children. That is what a national early learning and child care system is about. That is why it exists. That is why we are going ahead the way we are going ahead.

DomtarOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. It is about the very tragic announcement yesterday of 400 jobs being lost in Cornwall, Ontario at the Domtar plant.

Can the minister provide assurances to my constituents and everybody else who is going to be losing their jobs just after Christmas that all the services of Human Resources Development Canada for training, benefits and all other measures to assist them in finding employment will be deployed forthwith?

DomtarOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, after the hon. member for Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry brought this to my attention, I had my officials immediately contact the union and the company. In fact, today my officials will be meeting with the employer and all the related individuals with the intent of establishing a system whereby we will streamline the process and in fact accept claims on site so that we can accelerate the benefits system and also the reintegration of said workers into the marketplace in the short--

DomtarOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Burnaby--Douglas.

Public Safety and Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, on this human rights day, serious concerns are being raised about the security certificate process. This process allows for arrest and detention using secret evidence. It suspends normal court rules, preventing cross-examination and accepting evidence by torture. It allows deportation to persecution. At least five men have been detained under this process, some now for up to four years.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister act now to protect basic human rights, end detention without charges and ensure that no one is deported to torture or persecution?

Public Safety and Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises the issue of security certificates. I have already addressed that in the context of them being one of the tools we can use to protect the safety and security of Canadians.

However, this is an exceptional remedy. That is why it has been used very infrequently since 1991 when it was first legislated. I will also point out to the hon. member that we in this country have not deported anyone to any country where they would face a substantial risk of torture. We have not done so.

Public Safety and Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday a student and women's activist was deported from Vancouver to Iran. This woman, who had previously been jailed in Iran for her political activism, today stands charged in an Islamic revolutionary court for leaving Iran illegally. She could face the death penalty on this charge. Her immediate family members all live in Canada.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister justify this deportation given that just last month Canada tabled a resolution at the United Nations about Iran's unacceptable human rights record and its treatment of women?

Public Safety and Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we have one of the most generous systems as it relates to immigration and refugees anywhere in the world, but we expect people to obey the rules. In fact, if people come here illegally they are obviously requested to leave. They have the opportunity to have a pre-removal risk assessment done. That risk assessment takes into account what the individual will face in all likelihood if deported to a particular country. At the end of the day, we have a system--

Public Safety and Emergency PreparednessOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Brandon--Souris.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, during the recent visit of one Texan, U.S. President George Bush, it appears that another George from Texas was busy smuggling revolvers, machine guns and ammunition over the Canadian border.

George Farnsworth, wanted in Canada for child abduction, is suspected to have easily slipped over an unmanned border at Lacolle, Quebec, with weapons destined for gangs in Montreal. Is the minister jeopardizing Canadian safety with this porous border crossing policy?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, far from having a porous border security policy, we have invested over $8 billion since 2001 in national security, including border security. We have created a new border agency. That agency provides service at land borders, seaports and airports. We are constantly evaluating the level of service that is provided.

If the hon. member thinks that any system here, in the United States or in the United Kingdom is absolutely 100% risk free, no, it is not. That is not--

Border SecurityOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Brandon—Souris.