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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

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, this is only one part of the refugee process. We are looking, as a department, at the whole refugee process. There are many components of it that we feel need to be dealt with. There is going to be a complete review of the refugee process, including Iran.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the appeal division is a very important part of the legislation. Amnesty International, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Canadian Council for Refugees, and many other groups condemn and denounce Canada's refusal to implement the refugee appeal division.

Will the government take the opportunity of this International Human Rights Day to announce the implementation of the refugee appeal division?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, there is a refugee process that needs reviewing and we are reviewing it. There is no point in cherry picking by taking one piece out of it today and doing another tomorrow. We are looking at the refugee process and we are reviewing it. This will be done. It is being worked on already.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the security certificate process causes suffering for families who see one of their members imprisoned and threatened with expulsion from Canada, as part of an unfair process which upsets the balance between security and individual rights. The current procedure includes serious infringements of basic human rights, in particular, hearings at which the accused is not present and the lack of appeal.

Does the government intend to completely review the legislation governing security certificates and stop sanctioning a legal system completely devoid of the fundamental right to the presumption of innocence?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, security certificates are one of the measures used to remove non-Canadians from this country when they pose a threat to national security. It is an exceptional measure.

Since 1991 some 27 security certificates have been issued. In fact, the security certificate, as a tool to protect the national security of Canadians, has been reviewed by the highest level, the Supreme Court of Canada. It has been found to be constitutional in terms of striking the right balance between national security and human rights.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the government insensitive to the human drama of those jailed through an unjust process and does it realize the urgency of changing the security certificates to put an end to this intolerable situation in a society that calls itself democratic?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said, security certificates are one of the tools we use to protect the national security of Canadians. Security certificates, while obviously controversial in the minds of some, have been reviewed by the courts. The Supreme Court of Canada has indicated that the security certificate, as a tool, is constitutional. It does strike the right balance.

I would hope that the hon. member is not suggesting that we should not use, in the appropriate circumstances, all the tools available to us to protect the security and safety of Canadians.

Securities IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, David Dodge said that securities commissions, police forces and the Crown lack expertise when the time comes to draw up rule violation files. He recognized that white collar crimes have a huge impact on workers and small investors and also hurt Canada on foreign markets.

When will the government take white collar crimes seriously?

Securities IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we certainly welcome the observations of the bank governor, Mr. Dodge. As members know, the government commissioned the wise persons' report. It addressed a number of the issues that were raised by the governor over securities regulation. The government is taking that into consideration.

We hope all members will find their way clear to support the concept of a national securities regulator.

Securities IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the wise persons' report called on the government to act. What we are getting instead is delay and obfuscation.

Canada is like the wild west of financial markets, and that is not me talking. That is the Governor of the Bank of Canada. White collar crimes are despicable. They hurt workers, pensioners and small investors. We see nothing being done about it.

We have had high profile stock market scandals, Bre-X, YBM and LiveNet, but no one involved has gone to jail. When will the government give some teeth to our securities legislation?

Securities IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the area of securities regulation is a shared jurisdiction. Presently, we have a variety of provinces that have securities regulators.

The view of the government is that the wise persons' report is the way to go, that we should have a national securities regulator and that the current passport system, which presently is being implemented, is not as effective as it could be. In some respects we agree with the observations of the hon. member.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

December 10th, 2004 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister did not deny that a former staff member of the immigration minister was under investigation for security. We are not asking her to comment on such an investigation. We want her to confirm that an investigation is underway.

Giving us the facts on this does not breach any rules. The question is simple and the answer can be one word, yes or no. Which is it?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, not only would it be inappropriate for me to confirm or deny whether an investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to confirm or deny whether there is ongoing investigation.

I would hope the hon. member would respect that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, we learned yesterday that security officials have confirmed that one of the minister's former staff is being probed for allegations relating to national security. This is really simple. We are not asking her to make comments on the investigation, just to confirm if there is in fact any police investigation, RCMP or otherwise. She knows she is allowed to say yes or no to that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but it is inappropriate for me to either confirm or deny the existence of any RCMP investigation. As I say, I would hope the hon. members would respect that.

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I hope after the Minister of Justice made his comments in the House yesterday, he went away and actually read the decision of the Supreme Court on same sex marriage. If he did, he would have found that the Supreme Court refused to declare the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional. In fact, it sent the matter back for Parliament to decide.

Will the justice minister stop misleading Canadians and acknowledge that the decision to implement same sex marriage is not a constitutional requirement, but a policy choice that the Liberals are making?

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I never pronounce on a judgment until I have read it first. That is exactly what I caution the member opposite. If he looks at the judgment, it clearly declares--

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

You pronounced on it first, minister. You should have waited for the decision.

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

If the member wants to hear the answer, I will give it. It clearly declares that the opposite sex requirement for marriage is unconstitutional. It is right through the judgment. Otherwise, we could not have a unanimous judgment extending civil marriage for gays and lesbians.

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. In fact, that is the question the Supreme Court of Canada refused to answer. It sent it back to Parliament.

The Prime Minister told Canadians that his bill on same sex marriage would protect religious organizations. Yesterday, the Supreme Court told him that the bill's provisions about religious protection were outside the jurisdiction of Parliament.

How does the Prime Minister now intend to statutorily protect not only religious organizations, but also public officials with moral concerns about same sex marriages now that the Supreme Court of Canada has told him his--

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

MarriageOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am now convinced that he did not read the judgment, and still has not read it. If he had read it, he would understand that it being an advisory opinion, it cannot direct Parliament to do anything. All it can do is give advice. That is the nature of a reference. It is up to us to undertake that responsibility, to introduce legislation in Parliament, and we will do that. It will protect religious organizations because, under the charter, the court has said that religious freedom is absolutely protected, contrary to what the hon. member said.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance said he was surprised by the sudden interest shown by the Bloc Québécois in the textile industry. However, six months ago, in fact, the Bloc was proposing a rescue plan to help that industry, and was also condemning job losses. As recently as yesterday, the president of Peerless made a plea for help, on behalf of the industry.

The Minister of Finance promised an assistance plan for the industry by December 31. Can he tell us if he intends to take into consideration the proposals by the Bloc Québécois' proposals and in the unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Finance?

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as members know, with regard to this matter, an all party report from the finance committee made a number of suggestions to the minister as to how he could appropriately deal with this matter. The minister has those under consideration.

As well, there have been numerous representatives from caucus, the member for Ahuntsic, the member for Brome--Missisquoi, the former member for Compton--Stanstead, the member for Beauce, the member for Saint-Léonard--Saint-Michel, the member for Etobicoke North, the member for Scarborough Centre, the member for Guelph, all of whom have worked very hard on this file.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that I have been trying to save the textile industry in my riding of Drummond for the past year. The government has yet to take action. We are talking about 40,000 jobs that have already been lost since 1997 in the textile and clothing industry. Behind these numbers are individuals, many of whom are older workers.

In light of this reality, will the minister restore the program for older worker adjustment, which the government abolished in 1997?