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House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

November 17th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Minister of Public Safety answered my order paper question on RCMP shortages. She stated, “Currently, there are no unfulfilled requests for RCMP officers”. The minister then went on to contradict herself. Her own tables show a shortage of 1,059 RCMP officers across Canada. British Columbia is short 281, Ontario 139, Quebec 134, Alberta 85, and Nova Scotia 30.

The minister is denying the obvious. There are clearly RCMP shortages in every province. How can she still say there are no unfulfilled requests?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is probably aware, provincial governments set the number of policing resources for their province. There is a process in place by which the provinces can apply for additional positions.

The Government of Canada, and I would ask the hon. member to take this under special advisement, has approved all requests for additional positions for contract jurisdictions. The RCMP will fulfill these requests in accordance with existing agreements.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, that answer makes it quite obvious she is still denying the facts. Here are the facts. Three towns in my own riding have unfulfilled requests. Our RCMP sources say that currently, Saskatchewan has unfulfilled requests for seven constables, 23 corporals, 14 sergeants, two staff sergeants and one officer.

Who is right about these so-called unfulfilled requests? Is it the towns and the RCMP in Saskatchewan, or the minister who is denying them?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the Government of Canada has approved all requests from provincial governments for additional positions in contract jurisdictions.

In fact, the hon. member should perhaps ask the Attorney General of the province of Saskatchewan or the Solicitor General as to whether he has formally written to me to request those new positions. After coming from the FPT meeting of justice ministers and solicitors general last week, I asked my office whether I had any outstanding formal requests from provinces for additional contract positions. It is my understanding that I do not.

ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, immigrants, such as those in my constituency of Brampton--Springdale, have played a vital role in shaping the Canada of today. In an effort to further enhance this vision, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has proposed a variety of initiatives to reduce backlogs and to promote regionalization, integration and retention of newcomers. The Minister of Finance has invested another $1.3 billion over five years to improve settlement and integration services. It is another Liberal promise made and another Liberal promise kept.

Would the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please tell this House what the moneys will mean for Canadians who want to reunite with their families?

ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the money is to be used for a variety of measures.

Members will want to take note of the fact that we said we would fix the system, we would build capacity and we would build the flexibility required in order to bring people of skill, ambition and integrity who fit into our mainstream and immediately become productive and competitive. Those moneys that have been designed to allow for a speedier settling and integration are targeted specifically for that.

Some of the moneys that the committee wisely agreed would be reinvested are essentially for parents and grandparents who provide for the social cohesion required for people to be--

ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, western Canadian farmers are forced to sell their wheat through the Canadian Wheat Board at a price set by the government.

For the last five weeks we have stood in the House on behalf of western Canadian farmers and demanded that the government raise the initial prices. Two weeks ago, when my colleague from Souris—Moose Mountain raised this issue during question period, the minister said he would be responding immediately. It is two weeks later and there has been absolutely nothing.

Will the minister finally hear the pleas of western Canadian farmers and raise the initial prices, or did he mislead the House?

AgricultureOral 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, I can inform the member that the western Canadian farmers who serve on the board of the Canadian Wheat Board and actually conduct the business of the board have done an excellent job on a whole series of new sales. There will be an adjustment to the initial payments that will be forthcoming shortly.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, thousands of cash-strapped farmers are demanding this change. That was not good enough for the government until there was an election imminent. Farmers want to know what is going on.

The Canadian Wheat Board has hired the Canadian Wheat Board minister's former campaign manager. The board has employed the Prime Minister's former campaign manager. The board is putting money into a project involving the finance minister's campaign manager. Now it has hired a Liberal dominated public relations firm.

The government and the Canadian Wheat Board have lots of money to spend on Liberals. When will the government raise the initial price and give farmers their own money?

AgricultureOral 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--

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands did ask a question and I know he is just itching to hear the answer from the President of the Treasury Board, but it is very difficult to hear given all the noise in the chamber. I would urge his colleagues to subdue their enthusiasm so we can hear the minister's answer.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know the members on the other side do not like the Canadian Wheat Board or the farmers who operate it. However, if the member would care to step outside and repeat those allegations, he can pay the $7,000 that the member for Regina--Lumsden--Lake Centre paid when he made the same allegation outside this chamber.

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance's attitude is a bit disconcerting. His economic statement contains nothing for the 1.7 million people in inadequate housing and the 150,000 homeless. He has not even confirmed his intention to invest the $1.6 billion announced this summer. FRAPRU, the popular front for urban redevelopment, has criticized this mini-budget and accuses the government of using social housing issues for partisan purposes.

What is the Minister of Finance's explanation for not taking advantage of the excellent opportunity offered by his economic statement to at last respond to these groups' demands by renewing the program for the homeless?

HousingOral Questions

3 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I find it absolutely incredible coming from the Bloc that they would suggest this. They voted against Bill C-48, which would have made possible $1.6 billion for housing. We have already made a commitment that we will renew IPAC/SCPI and RRAP. In fact, as a government we have indicated that not only do we invest $2 billion each and every year to help 636,000 people, with $1 billion in terms of homelessness and $1 billion in terms of affordable housing, but we will continue to invest in housing in Quebec and across this country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Russ Powers Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Canada prepares to welcome the world to Montreal's UN conference on climate change, could the Minister of the Environment tell the House what additional measure he announced this morning to make sure that Canada does its share for the future of the planet and for generations to come?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to announce, with my colleagues, the Ministers of CIDA, NRCan and Foreign Affairs, an investment of up to $260 million over the next four years in support of additional global efforts to address climate change, investments by which we will improve the efficiency of the Kyoto protocol. We will renew our support for the Canadian climate change development fund. We will make a significant contribution to the important initiatives to observe the GEOSS plan. We will establish two new centres of excellence, l'un pour l'adaptation au changement climatique and the other for--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Carolyn Parrish Independent Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Quebec solicits French-speaking immigrants from all over the world. After one hour of processing in Montreal, many of those immigrants board planes to Peel region, but their settlement fees of $3,800 per immigrant stay in Quebec.

Would the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please explain to this House, particularly to the members from the GTA, why settlement fees attached to new immigrants are not withheld for 12 months and then assigned to the province in which those immigrants eventually settle and receive services, such as Ontario and Alberta?

ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for giving me an opportunity to talk about an announcement that we will make in very short order. It is a repetition of an announcement made by the Minister of Finance. We are about to sign an agreement for settlement and integration with the province of Ontario, which will allow the province to spend much more on settlement and integration dollars and will take care of all of those people who come into this country and immediately get them into the marketplace so that they can utilize the skills and the talents that we so desperately need in this country.

Points of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to apologize unreservedly to all members of the House for the remarks I made during question period. I obviously lost my composure, something I do not normally do in the House. I offer my unequivocal apologies to the House.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three questions for the government House leader, all of which concern future business.

My first question is the usual question. Could the government House leader enlighten us and, by extension, Canadians as to what business he has planned for the remainder of this week and on into the following week?

Second, at the annual meeting of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on September 25 of this year, the Prime Minister said, “Under no circumstances will my government attempt this autumn in any way, shape or form to precipitate our own defeat to force an early election”. I would ask the government House leader this question. Does this mean the Prime Minister does not consider Bill C-66, the energy rebate bill, and the ways and means motion currently before the House to be confidence measures?

Last, in a recent signed letter, the government House leader committed to the opposition parties that they would have opposition supply days on November 15, 17, 22, 24 and 29 and December 1 and 8. As everyone knows, these are the opposition days that he withheld from us all fall. Does his commitment mean that the government will not prorogue this Parliament as it is currently rumoured to be considering? I would suggest that a simple no would suffice.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will continue this afternoon with the opposition motion.

On Tuesday, November 22 and Thursday, November 24, we will have allotted days. The opposition House leaders are in fact considering a special House order to expedite Bill C-53, Bill C-54, Bill C-55 and Bill C-66 through all stages with a recorded vote at third reading. I hope we can come to an agreement on that special House order and proceed in that fashion.

If we cannot agree on that special order, then tomorrow we will begin with reference before second reading of Bill C-71, the first nations commercial bill; report stage of Bill S-37, respecting the Hague convention; second reading of Bill S-36, the rough diamonds bill; and reference before second reading of Bill C-72, the bill amending the DNA legislation. We will continue with this business next week, adding the report stage of Bill C-57, the financial governance bill, and other unfinished items.

With respect to the comment about the Chamber of Commerce, it is very clear, and I said this earlier, that Bill C-66 and the ways and means motion are in fact confidence motions. Although I am not sure I should do this, I am taking at the hon. member's word the public statements that in fact those members do support Bill C-66 and the ways and means motion with respect to taxes. Given his comment, I guess I should reconsider and speak to him once again since his party has flip-flopped on a number of occasions.

With respect to prorogation, I have to say that this rumour created by the Conservative Party was merely to keep the NDP in line with its confidence motion that it will put forward in the coming weeks.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It concerns the Thursday question just asked by the leader of the official opposition.

The question that was asked of the leader of the government was whether the promised dates for opposition days will be maintained and whether as a result the government will not prorogue this Parliament before the last supply day has taken place, as agreed over the leader's signature?

I would like a clear response. I did not get the meaning of his reply.