This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industries.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the chief of our air force appeared before the Senate defence committee and revealed that our air force has been stretched beyond its capability.

Senator Kenny later commented by saying:

We have a really stressed air force that is being asked to do more than it's capable of doing.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. If Senator Kenny understands this, then why does the government not understand it?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we work very closely with the Senate committee on defence. We are very interested in having its input into our thinking. It is very valuable.

The fact is that we recognize that our air force has been performing tremendous duty under exceptional circumstances, and we really felicitate them on that.

I want to say that when we look at the CF-18 modernization, the Aurora incremental modernization program, measures to enhance the availability of our Hercules fleet and our programs to procure new maritime helicopters and fixed wing search and rescue aircraft, we are providing our air force with the capacity to do the job that it needs to do.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Foreign Affairs answered my question regarding the Prime Minister's “pizzazz-like” foreign policy review, his answer was absolutely absurd. He said:

--the world has changed in the past 35 to 40 days. There was the situation that occurred in Ukraine and of course the tsunami.

We all know the world has changed but it has not stopped. Just how long will the world have to stop turning in order for the government to have enough time to complete its foreign policy review?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Pickering—Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had asked me two questions, I could have elaborated on the first. Let me tell the hon. member that an example of just how much the world is changing is the unprecedented end of hostilities that we are seeing in the Middle East today, showing the leadership of the foreign affairs minister.

The hon. member knows very well that there is a different world out there. He may not accept that but the reality is that a foreign policy review will take time. It is a collaboration of comprehensive discussions, discussions that took place in this country last year. We will continue, not to meet the hon. member's deadline, but to meet the deadline that puts Canada first in foreign policy--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Mississauga—Brampton South.

MarriageOral Question Period

February 8th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the opposition campaign against equal rights for civil marriage has taken another turn for the worst.

The Leader of the Opposition recently stated that extending civil marriage to same sex couples “is a threat to any Canadian who supports multiculturalism and is a threat to a genuinely multicultural country”. With wild claims such as this, it is no wonder so many Canadians are wondering why the Leader of the Opposition is using the charter to divide this country as opposed to uniting it.

Could the Minister of Justice clarify what the government's legislation will do and how extending--

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Could we have a little order? It is very hard for the Chair to hear the question. What if it were out of order? Then there really would be howls. As it is, I cannot tell. I could not even hear most of the question.

The hon. Minister of Justice now has the floor for an answer and we will listen to the answer.

MarriageOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the legislation extends rights to minorities and does not take away rights from anyone else. It protects equality. It protects against discrimination. It does not take away any rights regarding multiculturalism.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which gives us the protection of equality and freedom of religion, also protects multiculturalism, unlike the fear-mongering of the Leader of the Opposition, who undermines multiculturalism, undermines the charter and undermines this multicultural country that we call Canada.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

I can understand why George Bush and big pharma in the United States are embarrassed by the availability of lower priced Canadian drugs, but I cannot understand why the Minister of Health is so eager, particularly after President Bush's visit, to alleviate their anxiety by appearing to want to get rid of the Internet pharmacy industry no matter what the cost.

Why will the minister not do some of the things that would actually save the industry, like bringing in a ban on the bulk export of drugs? Why will he not consider and do that?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am actually surprised the member is not embarrassed by the unethical and unprofessional practices that create bad medicine in Canada. It is important for us to remember that the Canadian pricing regime is for the good of all Canadians. Good medical ethics produce good medicine for all Canadians.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Health has legitimate concerns about best practices in terms of medicine, why will he not bring all the stakeholders together? Why is he refusing to even meet with some of them? Why will he not bring everybody together and solve the legitimate concerns that he brings to the table, instead of threatening the entire industry and doing George Bush's bidding instead of the Canadian people?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the hon. member has been listening to. The Canadian Medical Association supports what we are trying to do. The Ontario Pharmacists' Association today issued a press release supporting what we are trying to do to ensure there is good medicine, good ethical practices in Canada and that the supply is protected for Canadians at affordable prices.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government's dithering on the recognition of international credentials harms our country and betrays newcomers who offer skills Canada needs.

Well over a year ago the Liberal throne speech once again promised to act but no credentials program has ever yet seen the light of day. In fact, according to one source, “It's been cancelled about seven times; it's totally out of control”.

Why has the Liberal government betrayed its promises to Canada's immigrants?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. We have said firmly that we would make a commitment, along with our provincial partners, to accelerate the recognition of credentials earned abroad, especially for our immigrants.

At present, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is holding talks across the country, consulting the provinces and everyone who has concerns about this issue. That will enable us to speed up the recognition of credentials even more.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, those people have been promising and consulting for 10 years.

Today Canada ranks near the bottom of developed countries when it comes to doctors available to citizens. In fact, four million Canadians are without a family doctor.

All we have seen from the Liberals is a 10 year unbroken streak of meaningless promises on credentials while talented international doctors are forced to sit idle.

Why do the Liberals continue to dither instead of delivering on the credentials issue?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are taking firm action in this matter because we know there is a need. It is a complete loss to have professionals in this country whose credentials have not been recognized. Still, we must do this in accordance with the country's Constitution, that is, with our partners the provinces and with all the professional associations, as well. That is why very practical steps are being taken right now, along with the Medical Council of Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association. We will continue this work in the coming year.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, seven times the government has cancelled its announcement of a plan to recognize foreign credentials. Doctors, engineers and accountants should not have to drive taxis to make a living.

New Canadians are not getting access to skilled occupations and their skills continue to be underutilized. It is costing our country over $2 billion annually in lost output.

It is time for the Liberals to back up their promises. When will the Prime Minister quit his dithering and provide the leadership needed to give Canada a 21st century immigration settlement policy?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development has answered that question.

The jurisdiction for credentialing is under provincial jurisdiction and under provincial legislation. We have built relationships with the regulatory bodies for doctors, nurses, health care providers and engineers. We are currently working with them to move the agenda forward. We have funded some assessment programs for them to begin.

This is not something the federal government can do alone. We must work with our partners to achieve this.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are on record opposing a motion on the recognition of credentials. They have realized their mistake and have promised a plan but now there are delays and excuses.

First they said that it was a scheduling problem, then that there was a last minute glitch, then that there was a miscommunication between two departments and then that the participants had dropped out.

When will the Liberal government stop fooling new Canadians and stop dithering and actually put together a meaningful plan to recognize foreign credentials?

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member just said, our government has acted on that. We have put money on the table. That is the first action.

Second, the Prime Minister is very committed to working with the provinces, which is what we are doing right now. The parliamentary secretary for immigration is working with the provinces.

I do not think we have any lessons to learn from the Conservative Party on that. This is a complex issue and the most important thing we can do is to work with the stakeholders to solve the problem.

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Canadian troops might participate, under the authority of NATO, to activities outside Iraq. There are rumours that these activities might involve the training of Iraqi soldiers in Jordan.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that he disagrees with this statement and will he pledge not to do through the back door what he cannot do through the front door?

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Canada is involved in helping rebuild Iraq. We pledged $300 million. We are currently helping train the Iraqi police in Jordan. This is a policy that we have been following for a long time. The Prime Minister said that we would not send troops to Iraq. However, we want Iraq to be a full-fledged member of civilization and we will try to help that country, though all possible means, achieve that result. We are continuing our efforts.

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just said that the training of Iraqi police officers by Canada is done with the agreement of the UN, under the Madrid conference.

Is the Prime Minister, or the minister, prepared to apply the same logic to the training of soldiers and confirm that he will not consider sending Canadian troops to Jordan, or elsewhere, if that is not done specifically with the approval of the UN?

IraqOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the UN absolutely wants Iraq to be rebuilt. We are working closely with the UN. This is precisely why we provided our expertise to the UN, specifically to consider what to do in Iraq. We will work with NATO. We will work with the UN. We will work with anyone to ensure that Iraq can once again be a member state of our civilization, for the well-being of the whole world.