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House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, once the federal government signs a vaccine contract with ID Biomedical, it will take 12 months to produce a trial avian flu vaccine. The company's special high containment facility is being paid for by taxpayers. Construction will take eight months and certification of the plant another two months. It will take a further two months to produce the vaccine.

Is the government comfortable with our vaccine production capacity not being ready until late 2006?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we were the first country to have a contract in place with a firm within Canada to have the domestic vaccine capacity in place. That vaccine will be available. Once we have the virus strain isolated, we will be able to get the vaccine flowing within five to six months. It takes time.

It is important to recognize that there is no need to cause unnecessary alarm among the public.

Public Transportation SafetyOral Questions

October 31st, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently in Brome—Missisquoi, with our American neighbours, we conducted an important border security exercise. At the Bloc convention, the party faithful talked, among other things, about creating an army, including spies of course, in a sovereign Quebec, but they failed to address such important and pressing issues as transportation safety, particularly with regard to public transit.

Can the Minister of Transport tell us what he thinks of the Bloc's approach?

Public Transportation SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the Bloc is not concerned with the safety of those using public transit. The leader of the Bloc can think only of creating an army for the Republic of Quebec or recruiting spies. The only thing that the leader of the Bloc did not announce on the weekend was whether, if young Quebeckers failed to volunteer for this crazy scheme, there would be a draft.

Public Transportation SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public Transportation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Moving on to the next question, the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, 12 years ago the Liberals promised to increase the annual immigration level to 1% of population. Given the hopes of families reunification and our economy's need for skilled workers, this promise was taken to heart by many. Year after year the government has missed the target. It will fail families, employers and immigrants again in 2005. Even with the apparent increase for next year, the new target falls far short of what was promised.

Why does the Prime Minister still refuse to keep the Liberals' 1% promise and put an end to this record of failure?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the 2004-05 departmental performance report will be tabled today. For the fifth consecutive year, we have met and exceeded our targets.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

But not their promises, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration says that he is increasing the immigration target for next year by 10,000 people. This represents a whopping 4% increase. There is a 700,000 person backlog in the system, meaning families are waiting for loved ones and employers cannot get the skilled workers they need. There is lots of fancy talk surrounding a very minimal announcement.

How exactly does a paltry 4% increase in the target for next year get rid of the backlog, reunite families and allow for the recruitment of skilled workers?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, in April of this year the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration tabled a report and some plans that would increase the number of parents and grandparents and that would improve family reunification.

Many of the targets that we set for immigration have to be agreed on with the provinces. We currently are trying to do that and move forward based on our capacity and the capacity of provinces to settle those immigrants.

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, border security is being predetermined and undermined by the Liberal government in Ottawa. The strategy is not based on intelligence or field work, but on quotas.

The government's border management plan sets artificial numerical targets for searches, overriding the goal for actually finding contraband. This padding of the numbers has been referred to by an officer as a public relations exercise. It focuses on increasing searches to boost the bonuses of managers rather than catching the crooks.

We know the Prime Minister likes phoney numbers, but why is the government jeopardizing the safety of Canadians and our border officers? Why do Liberals opt for optics over action?

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish the hon. member would not believe everything he reads in the papers. He should have been with me this morning before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, where the president of the CBSA, Alain Jolicoeur, and I responded to these allegations. Mr. Jolicoeur made it absolutely plain that the allegations as they appeared in the paper were false.

I can reassure everyone that the CBSA is a 21st century modern border service agency that is intelligence-led and driven.

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will take the word of the border officials over that minister and her spin doctors every time.

Along with the flawed focus of the searches, the Liberal emphasis on the border is on quotas and collection of duties rather than the actual public security. There are over a thousand ports of entry in Canada and 250 unguarded roads. Because the RCMP detachments have been closed, the union proposes sidearms and patrols. Recently agents walked off the job rather than face dangerous, armed individuals.

Why is the government risking the safety of Canadians and front line officers? How can it expect to stop dangerous terrorists and drug runners--

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first, let me reassure everyone that under the Canada Labour Code, assessments are done of these alleged dangerous situations, and these assessments determined that there was no threat to the safety of border guards.

In relation to the situation around the patrol of our borders, again, as Mr. Jolicoeur and I said before the Senate committee this morning, the CBSA and the RCMP are looking at how we can enhance surveillance at our borders. I expect in the months ahead to--

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam.

AirportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday in response to a question I asked about airport rents and airport taxes at Pearson Airport, the transport minister said,“It's unfair for Toronto to say they're being penalized...They should be thankful”.

Here are the facts. Pearson Airport pays two-thirds of Canada's airport taxes but hosts one-third of Canada's air traffic; two-thirds of the taxes, one-third of the traffic. How in the world could the transport minister say that this is fair?

AirportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, one fact is for real. The Minister of Finance and this government have given an $8 billion break to airports in Canada. Of that $8 billion, $5 billion goes to the Toronto Airport. I think $5 billion is an awful lot of money.

AirportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, two-thirds of the taxes, one-third of the traffic. The minister went on to add insult to injury when he said, “If Toronto has too much business and if their rent is too high, Montreal would welcome receiving their business”.

Pearson Airport is Air Canada's domestic hub. Now under the Liberals, it is the most expensive airport in the world due to high taxes. The minister's solution is to encourage air carriers to abandon Toronto and to fly to his home town.

Was the minister kidding or does he really believe this nonsense?

AirportsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think the member has a memory problem because I also said, “if you want them to go to Vancouver”, and he agreed. Obviously people in Hamilton, in London, in Moncton, everywhere in the country would like to have more business like Toronto gets. We are all happy that Toronto gets the business, but it has to pay the rent. It has a lot of business and it does great business. Everyone has to pay their rent.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister addressed the nation for two minutes in an attempt to justify his government's actions on the softwood lumber issue and to once again speak out against the attitude of the United States. That speech made no concrete contribution whatsoever and contained nothing to help out the softwood lumber industry.

Why did the Prime Minister not take advantage of those two minutes to announce that he will be giving loan guarantees to the companies that are the victims of this crisis, as the entire industry is demanding?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said a few minutes ago, my colleague, the Minister of Industry, our cabinet colleagues and our caucus colleagues in particular are weighing the options and working very hard to provide assistance to this extremely important industry from coast to coast. That is what we are doing at this time.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister took two minutes to repeat what we already know. What is more, the minister has just done the same. I will take 30 seconds to tell him that his government is taking a soft stand against the Americans, has no strategy whatsoever, and the fact that things are so bad for the softwood lumber industry is their fault.

In 30 seconds, can the minister tell me whether there will be loan guarantees for the companies in need, yes or no?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the answer is not yes or no, but maybe. We are weighing the options. The hon. member's suggestion is one option. My colleague, the Minister of Industry and myself, and the members of our caucus in particular, are considering a large number of options and hope to have some responses shortly.

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have seen Kashechewan's shanties on television. According to the CMHC, 35,000 first nations families are in need of assistance.

How can one justify the CMHC accumulating a surplus of more than $4 billion and its board treating itself to five star hotels when so many families continue to live in third world like housing? This is shameful.