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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems to want specific dates. In terms of specific dates, in all of the examples that he has given, the fact is that we have remained very consistent and very faithful to our commitments. However, the hon. member has some difficulty understanding that.

I have complete confidence in the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and in what she is doing in immigration in terms of opening up and in terms of settlement. She is doing exactly the job that she was called upon to do. She is changing the face of immigration.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

December 14th, 2004 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has known for 10 years that the import quotas on textiles would end on December 31 this year. The government has known for 10 years that thousands of jobs were in jeopardy. The government has known for 10 years what the solution is and yet more than 800 workers in Huntingdon stand to lose their jobs because of federal inaction.

Since the Prime Minister certainly cannot claim to be surprised at this news, can he explain why his government, which had all the tools necessary to soften the effects of the crisis, has not done anything to help textile workers?

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the private sector decisions taken by businesses in Huntington have serious and regrettable consequences. Civic officials are seeking solutions. I understand they have arranged meetings to discuss the situation with the Government of Quebec and that they also intend to do so with the Government of Canada.

We all need to do what we appropriately can do to help within our respective spheres of jurisdiction to make sure that the very best economic result applies.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, international trade relations are a federal responsibility. Under WTO rules, there was a way to adopt solutions or suggest possible solutions. Proposals were made in the Standing Committee on Finance as long ago as last March. The matter was discussed during the election campaign, and it was raised last week as well. The response was that we were too impatient.

Right now, instead of spending time wishing each other Merry Christmas, could we give some thought to the 800 workers about to lose their jobs in Huntingdon? Could they stop talking nonsense and instead get a move on and show a bit of compassion, and could the Prime Minister for once stop humming and hawing and take—

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at the instigation of a great number of members in the Liberal caucus, the issues relating to the textile industry and the apparel industry have been under very active consideration, including those recommendations that flowed from the finance committee.

I have indicated on many occasions that we will offer a response before the end of this calendar year when the duty remissions that affect some companies will expire, and that commitment will be kept.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been aware of the coming massive job losses in the textile and apparel industries for many months, and we called upon the government to make use of the trade agreement provisions to establish a transition period for this industry.

What explanation does the government have for not announcing that it plans to use transitional measures, when it could be done without any problem, and would have kept the jobs and made things easier for thousands of workers?

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the job issues are indeed important, as are the transitional issues. It is obviously also important for Canada to keep its international trade commitments.

Members on this side of the House have been working to balance all of those factors so we can achieve maximum employment, maximum business investment and maximum trade benefits as well. I am confident that we will succeed in meeting those objectives.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 9, my colleague from Joliette asked the Minister of Finance about his government's inaction in the textile industry and the reply was “Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is jumping the gun”.

How can the Minister of Finance say that the Bloc Québécois is jumping the gun when yesterday 800 people learned that they were losing their jobs in Huntingdon? If we are jumping the gun, he is completely missing the boat.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issues involved in the textile and apparel industry are complex. They are interrelated and interconnected. It is important not just to scribble down answers on the back of an envelope but to give the issues careful consideration, to consult with those who need to be consulted, and to achieve a result that will work, not just one that will get headlines.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

When the new Minister of Health was sworn in he said that he wanted to stop the creeping privatization of the health care system. The Prime Minister will know that sometime after we come back in February there will be a report to Parliament on the Canada Health Act. The problem with that report is that it never tells us how much money is being spent on private for profit delivery of health care.

I wonder if either the Prime Minister or the Minister of Health could tell us whether that kind of information will be asked of and received from the provinces this time so we know just what kind of levels of spending on private for profit delivery we are talking about.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is an unprecedented degree of accountability in the accord that we arrived at with the provinces in September of this year. We hope to collect all kinds of information based on that accord throughout the country and report that to the people of Canada.

I can say that we on this side of the House are absolutely of one mind when it comes to enforcing the Canada Health Act and doing so vigorously.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government is doing everything it can to ensure the public inquiry into the deportation and detention of Maher Arar is anything but public. Now it is blocking the release of a summary document on the inquiry's proceedings since it closed its doors to the public five months ago, a summary that government appointed commissioner Justice Dennis O'Connor declares “will not harm national security”.

When will the government quit stalling and allow the commissioner to release the Arar inquiry summary? What is this government trying to hide?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, as is the case with many of the responsibilities of the Attorney General, under the Canada Evidence Act, this decision is not made by the Attorney General himself, or me in this case, but is delegated to an official. Section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act has been triggered and justice officials have consulted extensively within government to form a decision that will be conveyed to the commissioner as soon as possible.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today there are more details of a security probe into the office of the immigration minister involving a staffer who was quietly fired as a possible threat to the country.

The minister denied in the House having any knowledge of that investigation so the question is simple. If she did not know this staffer had been fingered as a security threat, why did she fire him?

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, as I have indicated on a number of occasions before, it is singularly inappropriate for us to comment on whether any investigation is ongoing.

However the other thing I would say and something the hon. member needs to remember is that anyone who works on a minister's staff must go through a security check and, before hiring, must be cleared.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, well yes, that is a problem, is it not? That staffer, who is now under investigation as a security threat, had access to top level files containing sensitive personal information about thousands of immigrants and their families. The minister has a clear duty to protect the privacy and safety of vulnerable newcomers to Canada.

Why did the minister hire a staff member and give him top level clearance to sensitive information without taking the trouble to make sure he was not a security risk?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me speak very calmly and very clearly. These allegations are absurd and unfounded and something like what one would see in the National Enquirer . The story is a complete fabrication, word for word.

This kind of sloppy reporting is clearly a disservice to the many journalists who actually write stories and do the research. No one on my staff is or has been under any kind of investigation.

What is the headline tomorrow? Is Santa going to be an elf?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, we shudder at what the next headline will be tomorrow.

Last week we asked the immigration minister if there were any police investigations into her staff and she said, “no”. Today we learn that one of her former staffers is being investigated for ties to a terrorist organization.

Granting status to a Romanian stripper who worked on her election, taking campaign funds illegally and now we learn about this investigation.

If I could have just one wish for Christmas, it would be a straight answer from the immigration minister--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

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, we have too many hon. members who feel free to throw unsubstantiated allegations around in this place. I will again reiterate that anyone working for any minister in the government must go through a security and background check.

In relation to any operational matters involving the RCMP or any other investigative agency, it is simply inappropriate for anyone in the government or for those agencies themselves to confirm or deny any details in relation to operations--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary West.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

If the Liberals want to talk about inappropriate, Mr. Speaker, the minister misled the House when she denied there were any investigations into her office. Now we find out that it is not just a police investigation but a national security probe.

The minister is no longer just an international embarrassment, she is now a security threat, having a staff member with ties to the Tamil Tigers who has admitted to using 241 suicide bombers in the last 17 years of a campaign of terror.

I would like to know what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has planned for a New Year's resolution. Will she reduce the stress in her life and just resign?

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, what we just heard from the hon. member are the most outrageous, unsubstantiated allegations and assertions.

I would encourage people like that to actually have the courage to go outside where they do not have parliamentary immunity and make those statements.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Boire Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Huntingdon in my riding are calling for help. More than 800 jobs are disappearing from this town. Just before Christmas, that is a disaster.

What is the minister's plan for rescuing the textile industry and helping the communities who are suffering? I demand an answer now.