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House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was barbados.

Topics

Canada-U.S. BorderOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Perhaps the hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest, who I think is making a lot of racket over there, could control himself.

The hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst now has the floor. We will have a little order.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, employees earning minimum wage or middle-class workers who quit their jobs are not entitled to EI: the Liberal government introduced this penalty in 1996. Furthermore, they are not entitled to severance pay.

However, when Mr. Dingwall, a former Liberal minister who lost his seat and was then offered a job by the Liberal government, with a $270,000 annual salary—plus a pack of chewing gum—quits his job, this same Liberal government wants to give him half a million dollars in severance pay.

Is the Prime Minister recommending that employees take the government to court—

David DingwallOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Revenue.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only if our counsel determines that we must. An independent audit re-examining his expenditures is underway.

Furthermore, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the Treasury.

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, handgun related homicides are skyrocketing in Toronto this year. Nationally, Statistics Canada says that homicides in Canada increased 12% in 2004; 622 people were murdered, 73 more than in 2003.

Despite this huge increase in murders, why does the Liberal government continue to mislead Canadians by denying that violent crime in Canada is rising?

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the minister has stated, there is no greater responsibility for this government or any government than to protect its citizens.

In this particular case, the Criminal Code contains many minimum mandatory sentences relating to violent crimes that are committed with a firearm. In fact, I think the hon. member and all members of the House ought to hear about these mandatory minimum sentences that deal with violent crime.

First, if a firearm is used in the commission of an offence in a criminal negligence case causing death, under section 220—

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Oshawa.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, tragically, yesterday a 15-year-old girl became the latest victim of gun violence when she was severely wounded near her home in Oshawa.

This is the latest in an ongoing string of shootings that proves that the government has failed Canadians by failing to get tough on crime.

Instead of throwing away $2 billion on a useless gun registry that does nothing to stop gun violence, why has the government not put those resources into front line policing to help avoid tragedies like this?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish those members would get their facts straight. Again, $2 billion is just an out and out lie.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Honestly, the Deputy Prime Minister knows that the use of that term is quite unparliamentary and she will want to withdraw it right away and make a correction in her answer.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw that comment.

In relation to the gun control program, it is interesting that the gun control program continues to garner the support of front line law enforcement officers and the chiefs of police.

Let me read what the former president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Edgar MacLeod, stated, “There is no question that the system works and that it—

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre.

Government AircraftOral Questions

October 6th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that Challenger jets were only to be used when “there is no other alternative that would allow government business to be discharged reasonably”.

On January 29 of this year, the finance minister flew back to Regina by himself on the Challenger when, according to his own media advisories, his next event was on January 31 back here in Ottawa.

Could the minister explain why he spent $67,000 of taxpayer dollars on what appears to be a personal trip?

Government AircraftOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this is really drawing the House into seriously crazy business.

I can give the House an example. One of the examples that was cited by the hon. members and in the article was the fact that the former fisheries minister was accused of flying to Vancouver on a Challenger when there was an alternate flight available. However it turned out that the plane was going empty to pick up the Governor General and he flew there and saved the government money.

I think, before the hon. members attack the finance minister, who is doing his best for this country, covers himself and ensures the rules are observed, they should get their facts right before making these unreasonable attacks.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians can hear, that was no response at all to the question that was asked.

The rising cost, rising crust pizza saga continues, starring our very own immigration minister.

On August 10, the pizzeria so loved by the minister was the site once again of a lavish dinner for two. Records show a claim totalling $133. This is more than what a family of four spends on groceries for a week. The minister has also failed to explain two prior claims at this same pizzeria averaging almost $70 per person.

Will he stand up and explain to Canadians these outrageous—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have already given an indication that I invited members of the opposition to the same kind of lunches and dinners for consultation purposes but they declined.

I have had to go to Saskatchewan and to Alberta. I have met with premiers and with stakeholders, I have met with the mayors, with labour and with business in order to talk about the immigration issues that members refuse to raise in the House. I have had to go out there and do their job for them.

Clothing and Textile IndustriesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has already said he is prepared to put measures in place to help the clothing and textile industries. Yesterday the government voted in favour of a Bloc Québécois motion that proposed concrete measures on this matter.

Now that the House has agreed to implement an aid policy for the clothing and textile industries, does the minister intend to follow through promptly on this motion?

Clothing and Textile IndustriesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we indicated yesterday is that there are two sides to this industry: the apparel side and the textile side. A proposal is being developed to deal with the re-importing of product. We have been working with both sides of this industry since March to develop a proposal to which they can both agree. We want both sides to be winners.

Clothing and Textile IndustriesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc motion calls for the creation of an aid program for older workers and the duty free entry of clothing made offshore with Canadian textiles. However, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Social Development said yesterday that the government would not apply the content of the motion in its entirety.

Can the government clear up this matter and tell us whether what the parliamentary secretary said truly reflects his intention not to apply one of these two measures?

Clothing and Textile IndustriesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach LiberalMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, the government is very sensitive to older workers. As the industries are under great pressure, we have committed and are still committed to working with the Government of Quebec and other provinces to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the issues of older workers and the competitive nature of the industries they are in.

Public Service CommissionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the Public Service Commission finally announced policy changes that will mean that all jobs in Ottawa and all jobs across the country will be open to all Canadians no matter what their postal code.

I know that sounds good but there is a bad twist to it. The commission has added a new set of criteria that says that the commission is not required to consider more than one person in order for an appointment to be made. That means that if the manager gets 50 applications, he is only required to look at the top one and not at the others.

Will the President of the Treasury Board change this policy and adopt a policy which means that all qualified applicants will be considered for every job?

Public Service CommissionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said the other day, I appreciate the member's interest in this but I would point out that the Public Service Commission is not a government agency. It is an independent arm of the government and reports to the House of Commons.

If the member wishes to have that conversation, I would suggest he ask the committee to call the president forward and have a conversation about it. I am sure she would come and I am sure she would explain the system to him. I suspect he could then keep this out of question period and have a proper discussion with his employee.

Public Service CommissionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, that sounds good but this is a government act. This is not the Public Service Commission itself.

As an example of what can happen, the President of the Public Service Commission testified this morning that the RCMP commission for public complaints had 40 staffing changes this year and 39 did not comply with the rules. One did and 39 did not. If we do not change this section in the act, it will only encourage more abuse.

Will the President of the Treasury Board move to change this rule so that all applications will be considered and the government gets the best employees?