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House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cards.

Topics

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just missed an opportunity to answer a direct question.

Last week the human rights subcommittee right here in the House of Commons heard disturbing evidence from a variety of representatives of religious groups suffering extreme persecution in a number of countries around the world: Christians in Pakistan, Falun Gong in China, Buddhists in Tibet, and many others.

As the Prime Minister is meeting with many of these dictators, will he specifically speak up for the persecuted people within those regimes? Will he make the case for religious freedom? Other freedoms will follow if they have religious freedom.

Human RightsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in fact in a speech last night I indicated that in virtually every country that I have gone where there are questions of human rights violations, or where in fact there are restrictions on freedom of religion, I have raised the issue. That is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy. It is certainly an integral part of Canadian values which this government reflects.

The answer to the hon. member's question, which I think is very well taken, is yes, I will raise it in Libya and I will raise it in every other country where that is a problem.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment recognizes that the implementation plan to reduce greenhouse gases will be delayed. Following the minister's admission, we now have a better understanding of the comments made in Australia by deputy minister Anderson, when he said that Canada would not achieve even two thirds of its objectives on greenhouse gas reduction.

How could the Minister of the Environment downplay the deputy minister's comments last week, when he himself confirmed them through the admission that he made yesterday?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member is not quoting me accurately. I never said that. On the contrary, the Kyoto action plan has been in effect since 2002. In the Speech from the Throne, we made a commitment to strengthen and closely monitor it.

Climate change is a new phenomenon. We are constantly learning more on how to deal with it. Canadians have already invested $3.7 billion, at the federal level alone, to deal with this issue.

We have had a very active plan for renewable energy and we will continue to have one.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister said he was prepared to sign an agreement with Quebec. However, he continues to give priority to oil companies and the automobile industry by taking a sectoral approach.

If the minister is serious when he says that we must be fair and set targets that are both rigorous and fair, what is he waiting for to give full control to Quebec over its territory, by signing a territorial approach with the province?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am convinced that we will have many opportunities to work with the Quebec government which, unlike others, believes in Canada. It knows that Canada has a critical role to play on this planet.

Indeed, Canada is not only one of the first countries affected by climate change, as we can see in the northern part of the country, it also has the necessary expertise to succeed. If there is a country that can get all the others to work together to solve the serious problem that climate change represents for mankind, it is definitely Canada.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, a recently declassified RCMP document indicates that some 600 women, many just girls, are lured into Canada's illicit sex trade each year. It is estimated that reporting only identifies one in ten women so victimized.

Against this dismal backdrop, the minister of immigration has been providing incentives to foreign women to apply as exotic dancers, leaving them extremely vulnerable to further exploitation.

When is the government going to get serious about Canada's illicit sex trade and take action to stop the exploitation of these most vulnerable women and children?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question because we have characterized the question of trafficking in women and children as being the global slave trade. With respect to that global slave trade, which is the fastest rising criminal industry, we have organized our policy around prevention, around protection of victims and with respect to prosecution, of bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

December 7th, 2004 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, on two occasions the Minister of Finance has guaranteed to us that a decision will be made on duty remissions for the apparel industry. Time marches on. The deadline is only days away.

Will the minister sign the duty remission orders, or is his Christmas gift to the Canadian apparel industry workers a pink slip?

Textile and Clothing IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, my officials and I continue to work on the details of our proposal.

I had the distinct opportunity yesterday in Guelph and in Cambridge to meet with owners of some of the plants and many of the workers in some plants located in that part of Ontario.

I want to assure them, together with members of our caucus, that the solution to this issue which has been promised before the end of the year will indeed be forthcoming.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's veterans independence program has been providing home care, housekeeping and groundskeeping services for veterans for two decades.

Last year the program was extended to provide these services to surviving primary caregivers for life. Unfortunately many deserving widows were left out because of the time of death of their veteran.

What is the government doing to ensure that widows of veterans who died in long term care facilities or who died prior to 1990 are treated fairly and are given the groundskeeping services they need to stay in their homes?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mississauga East—Cooksville Ontario

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his timely question.

Today the government is taking an important step to further recognize the efforts and the sacrifice of primary caregivers for veterans.

We are extending VIP housekeeping and groundskeeping services for life to an additional 4,000 surviving eligible caregivers of veterans who were themselves receiving VIP services since the program began in 1981.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, most people agree that one meaningful way to measure the success of a new government program is to look at the take-up rate. For example if 70% or 80% of intended recipients take up a new program, this suggests people know about it, want it and believe it is in their best interest to sign up for it.

By this standard the CAIS program is a complete failure. In Kawartha Lakes it is reported that just 47 out of hundreds of farmers have signed up for CAIS.

Why does the minister continue to defend the CAIS program when it has so obviously failed the vast majority of Canadian farmers?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that those producers who today have received almost half a billion dollars in CAIS payments would totally disagree with the hon. member.

We have worked very diligently with the industry and we have worked very diligently with producers to make sure that we take any actions that we need to so that this program can be delivered in an efficient and timely manner.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are wondering if the Liberal government is taking their safety and well-being to heart when they travel abroad. How many dramatic situations will it take to sensitize this government to the problems faced by Canadian travellers?

Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs responded flippantly to the Royer family's request. Does he intend to finally contact them, and what resources does he plan to make available to them?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that the government takes very seriously the plight of Canadian citizens travelling around the world when they find themselves in situations as difficult as Nicolas Royer's current situation.

I have stressed how closely the Canadian ambassador in Lima, Geneviève des Rivières, and all her staff, as well as our officials here in Ottawa, are working together with the Peruvian authorities, who are also trying very hard to find Nicolas Royer. Hydro-Québec is also doing its share with a helicopter that has been searching for the young man since yesterday. I can assure the House that we are taking a great interest in this situation.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the government's reassuring statements, the Royer family continues to worry about Nicolas, who disappeared on November 27. His father is critical of the attitude of the Department of National Defence, which he described as pitiful. “They could not even tell me where to find dry food for the expedition”, he commented.

How can the Minister of National Defence explain that, despite the urgency of the situation, he has not yet authorized military people from Valcartier to go to Peru and help with the search operations?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I understand that some service people from Valcartier have volunteered for this task. That is a personal decision, however. They have to assess the danger, if they want to take it on.

My department and the Department of Foreign Affairs are working closely together with the Royer family to find this young man. But it is up to individual Canadian citizens to decide for themselves if they want to go or not. Obviously, for our part, we will not prevent anyone from going.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the minister responsible for the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation.

This past week, the minister was in Cape Breton to make an announcement in the Northside Industrial Park which will see Keata PharmEng, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, establish an operation on Cape Breton Island.

In light of the debate that is taking place today in this House, with Bill C-9, on the importance of regional economic development, could the minister explain to the House the importance of investments such as this one to the economy of Cape Breton?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire LiberalMinister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the member for Cape Breton—Canso is quite right. I was in Cape Breton last weekend with my two Cape Breton colleagues and with Premier Hamm and his cabinet to announce loans funding for Keata Pharmaceuticals that will result in over 175 well-paid jobs for the people of Cape Breton. Keata joins companies such as Tesma, CB Castings and EDS, which understand the benefits and value of investing in the people of Cape Breton.

Our government is also providing funds for a new training program in biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology at the University College of Cape Breton, which will assist the youth to stay--

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister in speaking to labour leaders last week said that he needed the private sector to deliver the promised national child care program. The Minister of Social Development knows from the research and the OECD report that for profit equals poor quality.

He and the provincial ministers committed to the principle of quality. Will he commit today to a not for profit delivery system to ensure that this principle is met?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we want to create a national child care system based on the best principles. We have made a start. We want to pursue the best and most promising ways to create this national system, based on the quad principles. I might add that the best system that exists now in Canada, in Quebec, provides both private and for profit care.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Loyola Sullivan, Minister of Finance for Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Cecil Clarke, Minister of Energy for Nova Scotia.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!