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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bankruptcy.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the murder of Zahra Kazemi while in the custody of Iranian police and the brutal execution of two young men this summer because of their sexual orientation clearly shows that Iran acts as one of the world's most flagrant violators of basic human rights.

What is the minister doing to enlist our friends and allies in taking decisive action with respect to Iran and its persistent violation of human rights?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Iran has not lived up to its international human rights obligations and has not conformed to the past UN resolutions. This is why I am announcing today in the House that for the third year in a row Canada will present a resolution at the United Nations regarding the deplorable human rights record of Iran. Such a resolution will send a strong message to Iranian authorities regarding the urgent need to address the human rights situation now prevailing in Iran.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Communities throughout B.C., across northern Ontario and across Canada are suffering from the government's inaction on softwood lumber.

The Bush administration has ripped up the parts of the NAFTA that it does not like and the government has done nothing. The industry minister famously said that the government would take the Americans into the boards. The government is not even on the ice. It is hiding in the dressing room.

It has been two months since the NAFTA dispute settlement was ripped up by Bush. Where is his response? Where are the results? Where is our $5 billion?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have been very strong on this issue. We have insisted that the NAFTA be respected. We are taking all measures necessary to ensure that it will be respected, including litigation, retaliation and advocacy.

I want to thank the members in the House, particularly the Prime Minister, who have been so very strong on this issue. We are grateful for the support we have received from President Fox, and we will continue to take all measures necessary.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has promised to clean up public wrongdoing.

There is a major loophole at the heart of the regulations pertinent to lobbyists. It works like this. It is illegal for a company to offer a profit-based payment to a lobbyist, but a lobbyist like Mr. Dingwall can accept $350,000 in such a payment without it being illegal.

Will the Prime Minister clean this up and ensure that if it is illegal to give such a payment, it ought to be illegal to receive it?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, it is against government policy to receive a contingency if one is a lobbyist. We enforce that in the contracts we have with the companies with which we deal. Those moneys are recovered from the companies, and they can take action against the lobbyist.

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government said that ministers use the Challenger jets to ensure the smooth operation of government business. Nonetheless, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs used this flying limousine to the tune of $14,000 to go from Montreal to Ottawa. A deluxe chauffeured limousine would have cost $450 for the same trip.

Can the minister tell us why the smooth operation of government business requires overcharging Canadian taxpayers by more than $13,000?

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these jets are not used on a whim and it is incorrect to say that they are. Their use is strictly controlled. The jets are available only in case of emergency for government activities.

I suggest that the official opposition, which is using statistics prepared by a former Conservative candidate, do some research on these statistics before citing them in this House for partisan reasons. These are partisan statistics used for partisan purposes.

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a two hour drive. Talk about sticking it to taxpayers. That gives new meaning to the term “mile high club”.

The Minister of Transport said yesterday that flying rules are too tough, that Liberals deserve even more mile high limousine rides.

While ordinary Canadians struggle to fill their gas tanks, while they work hard and play by the rules, why are these Liberal ministers spending millions of dollars on the backs of those same taxpayers, jetting around the country?

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware that Canadians travelling by plane or car do not have access to private jets. We also recognize that sometimes a minister needs such access, as was the case with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. She works very hard and needs to travel all over the country. In case the hon. member did not know, this country has 10 provinces and 3 territories. I can assure you that all the ministers who have used the Challenger jets have followed the rules, provided justification and gotten approval in advance.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

October 5th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the pizza expenses keep piling up like a mountain of cheese for the immigration minister.

On August 20, the minister visited his favourite pizza joint once again and spent a whopping $207 for pizza for himself and two guests. That is $70 per person. I do not know about other members, but I am sure Canadians are getting indigestion just thinking about all that pizza.

The minister could not explain how he spent $138 for two, but could he now explain how he spent $207 on pizza for three?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know talk about indigestion may cause some discomfort for hon. members, but we do not need to hear the sounds of it on the floor. The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has the floor to give an answer. We would like some silence to hear the answer.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated already in other answers, I conduct meetings with stakeholders and other constituents over the course of hours that are beyond the normal working hours in the House. When I invite those people for the benefit of their consultation, I do so in a responsible fashion and I pick up the costs of those meetings.

We put it on proactive disclosure in the House and we do it to demonstrate that we do this—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that brings a whole new meaning to stakeholder.

The Minister of Immigration has eaten himself into a corner. On September 27 he said that his regional ministerial responsibilities were the reason for these meal expenses. Yesterday, he changed his tune and said that these meals were for “developing a plan for immigration”.

Obviously, the minister cannot remember which phony excuse to stick to. Which is it? Ontario issues, immigration issues or is the minister just out to lunch?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated that I have several responsibilities and I try to discharge them as responsibly as possible.

I have invited members of the immigration committee to such lunches and dinners. I noticed that the member opposite decided to decline as we were discussing business that would be of some benefit to the House, as I present an immigration plan later on in the month.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue is using the pretext of efficiency and productivity to justify closing the Quebec City sorting centre.

Can the Minister of National Revenue tell us why the efficiency and productivity argument is being used with such urgency in Quebec when that rationalization could also be applied to numerous other sorting centres elsewhere in Canada? Why just Quebec?

Canada PostOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is not just Quebec. I have explained to the hon. member numerous times that there will be no jobs lost in this case. That was the most critical point.

As for the other part of the question, Canada Post seeks to improve its efficiency everywhere in Canada, in all ten provinces. This is an industry in decline, so Canada Post must optimize its efficiency if it does not want to run a deficit.

Canada PostOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, when rationalization is undertaken, there is an overall plan. It is not done on a piecemeal basis.

If the real reason for closing the Quebec City sorting centre is rationalization, why is the minister taking so long in revealing his overall action plan to us? What is holding him back?

Canada PostOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is not true that Quebec is the only place we are seeking to improve efficiency. The same thing is being done elsewhere as the opportunity arises. This idea does not apply merely to Quebec. It is necessary in every province, the province of Quebec included. In fact, since the industry is on the decline, we must seek to improve efficiency in order to maintain the rural post office system and avoid falling back into a deficit situation.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board President has announced that despite one year of effort, he has absolutely no idea how much money the Government of Canada is spending on aboriginal programs and services. This is an entirely new Liberal strategy on ineptitude: get in front of the story by announcing its own incompetence.

In response to every question that has been asked in the House this year, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs has said that it is his top priority and that he is working on it.

Could the minister explain to Canadians how it is possible to spend an estimated $10 billion and have no idea where the money has been spent?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely no idea what the member is talking about. Not only have we been working very hard on this but there has been a considerable amount of work on mapping this and working with the aboriginal communities on these numbers. I have committed to fully releasing it in the Canada performance report. I have simply no understanding of what he is saying.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer. If the minister cannot even say how much the government is spending, I suppose it is out of the question to ask whether it is being spent wisely or whether it is being spent on aboriginal Canadians at all. Perhaps Liberals are receiving some of it.

This is a simple question. The government is spending as much as $10 billion. Canadians want to know how it can possibly spend up to $15,000 per aboriginal Canadian and have no idea how much, where or with what results.