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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cfia.

Topics

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the claims of the Liberal government being immigration friendly ring hollow when compared to its dismal record.

Here is what Liberal policies have brought us: record waits for travel visas to Canada; five year waits for family reunification approvals; intolerable delays for compassionate travel requests; and onerous restrictions on immigrants to qualify their professional and trade skills to satisfy Canadian standards. I do not see anything immigration friendly about that record.

This is typical of the Liberal government. It brings the system to its knees, raises the frustration stage to the desperation stage, and then just before an election makes promises to fix the problem with a threat that if someone does not vote Liberal, then everything is off.

This is sleazy politics from a--

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ahuntsic.

Dalai LamaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to point out that today is the first anniversary of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Canada.

A year ago millions of Canadians were deeply touched and moved by the visit of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Many of us here in this House took part in this incredibly memorable visit to Parliament Hill. His reception at the Centre Block is remembered as one of the most powerful receptions for a world leader in recent times.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner, a relentless campaigner for freedom and human dignity, a respected spiritual leader, and figurehead of the pacifist movement, he has successfully led his people in the field of education and the preservation of their ancient and unique Tibetan culture.

To mark this anniversary, the representatives of the Tibetan community, who are here today and to whom I extend greetings, have distributed khatas—a Tibetan ceremonial scarf symbolizing peace and friendship—to all the MPs. I invite my fellow parliamentarians to wear them with the humility and peace they represent.

National Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, “mourn for the dead, fight for the living” is the battle cry of workers throughout Canada and indeed the world. Each year in Canada a thousand workers are killed and more than a million are injured or made sick by workplace accidents or disease.

With the passage of Rod Murphy's private member's bill in 1991, April 28 was recognized nationally as the day of mourning. Part of the continuing fight for the living is improving workplace safety and health through legislation, enforcement, education and technological change. The passage of Bill C-45, the Westray bill, is also a deterrent for employers who disregard the lives of workers.

As we continue to fight for improvements in Canada, we know that the fight must also extend throughout the world. More than 1,100 miners were killed by fires and cave-ins in China in the first three months of this year, an increase of 21%. If our country pushes trade with China, we must also press for extensive improvements in safety for Chinese workers.

As I join with workers, unions, employers, and the families of those who have lost a loved one in the workplace, I ask my colleagues here in the House to join me on April 28 mourning lives lost and committing to fight like hell for the living.

Charitable OrganizationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, tonight our Prime Minister will perform a nationally televised panic attack. He is now desperate. He has tried for months to get people to forget about the Liberal ad scam.

Now the Liberal scheme is to claim that everyone is corrupt. Citizens should learn that all politicians steal and all charities take money that does not belong to them, so goes the Liberal line.

Yesterday Liberals smeared Lawrence Cannon for his work in the charitable sector. Mr. Cannon legitimately employed a small grant to fund a successful 34 nation business meeting that brought $4.5 million in trade to Canada. None of the dollars went into Mr. Cannon's pocket. It was all put toward building our economy. This is not the same as the Liberal payola scam.

Here we have it, Liberals will now attack every charity to which they gave sponsorship money. Are they saying that all of these volunteers were involved in conniving to skim money into Liberal coffers? Canadians deserve better and soon they will have a chance--

Charitable OrganizationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

Dalai LamaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, a year ago, millions of Quebeckers and Canadians were deeply touched and moved by the visit to Canada of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In solidarity with his peaceful struggle, and that of the Tibetan people, we are proud to wear the khata, a traditional Tibetan scarf symbolizing peace and friendship.

The Dalai Lama promotes Tibet's right to independence, seeking meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people within China. However, the issue is far from being resolved, because the fundamental rights of Tibetans continue to be denied.

Based on its strong ties with China, Canada must ensure that Beijing takes concrete action to ensure that the current dialogue between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and China results in a negotiated settlement on the status of Tibet.

Members of this House must add their voices to those of the millions of people around the world who struggle to help the Tibetan people reclaim their homeland.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister speaks tonight on television he will be up against shows like Just Shoot Me and Crime Scene Investigation . I refuse to comment on this interesting coincidence except to say that there are no shows as sordid as the Liberal Party.

On tonight's episode, Canada's top spin doctor performs plastic surgery on the Liberal Party in an attempt to give it a new face. We will see him nip and tuck those ugly sponsorship scars away in the hope of making the Liberal Party more attractive to the Canadian public and maybe a little less recognizable to the police. It is a tough job. Even as the spin doctor is trying to cover up old wounds, Benoît Corbeil is opening up new ones.

The Liberal Party is so fundamentally sick that an extreme political makeover just will not cut it. It needs to open this patient right up, cut out the arrogance and replace it with some humility. It needs a conscience implant. It needs shorter arms so that the only pockets it can reach into are its own.

Finally, if it has the stomach, it needs to get rid of the head.

Stefan SuretteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute a young soldier, Mr. Stefan Surette. Mr. Surette was killed from gunshot wounds during an insurgent ambush in Baghdad while the vehicle he was in waited for the road to reopen.

Mr. Surette's family lives in Saint-Anne-Du-Ruisseau, a small close-knit community in my riding.

Stefan left Nova Scotia a little over a decade ago to join the British military. He later joined a private security firm with whom he was employed at the time of his unfortunate death.

I spoke to Mr. Surette's mother today. His parents are devastated by the loss of their child, as is all of the community.

I am certain Nova Scotians and Canadians alike join me in sending the Surette family our deepest condolences.

TibetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Independent

David Kilgour Independent Edmonton—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, at this time last year we were in the company of His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to Parliament Hill. On the first anniversary of the visit, all of us in this House hope that we can reflect on his message.

I can say that in my 26 years as a member of Parliament, I have never seen such a reception as was seen last year. The welcome His Holiness received was concrete proof that the values of the Tibetan people and their struggle have a resonance on Canadians.

The Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, which has parliamentarians from all parties as members, urges the Canadian government to speak out against China's incursion upon the Tibetan way of life and to condemn China's railway to Tibet.

In this week's international policy statement, the word “Tibet” did not appear once. Neither did the phrase “human rights in China”. This is not a reflection on the desires of the Canadian public or Parliament.

I also call upon Canadians, as shareholders of Bombardier, Nortel and Power Corporation, to voice their objection to the involvement of those companies in the construction of that railway.

At this critical juncture in Tibet's struggle, I hope that we will have the--

TibetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has warned Canadians that there better not be an election or the national child care plan and its first $700 million to the provinces and territories will be in jeopardy. He and his party deserve a game misconduct for this.

Canada does not have a child care plan because the Liberals failed to make it happen in three consecutive majority governments. Canada does not have a child care plan because the Liberal government refused to accept the verdict of Canadians in the last election and work with the minority Parliament.

New Democrats want to work with the government on a child care act. The Liberals said no. Nine months ago, the New Democrats wanted to work with the government on a universal, not for profit, accessible child care system. The Liberals ignored the partnership.

It is time for the government to respect Parliament, respect Canadian voters and decide if it wants this Parliament to work.

The Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, apparently today the Prime Minister will not appear in public. Instead, tonight he will issue a tape from his den, like some kind of fugitive leader.

I have spoken to the other opposition leaders and I think there would be unanimous agreement that if the Prime Minister wants to address Canadians at 7 p.m., he could do so here with the televised hearings of the House of Commons. He could do so in a public setting, as is our democratic custom.

Would the government be willing to give unanimous support to such a motion?

The Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we have watched day after day the official opposition and the other opposition parties turn these 45 minutes into nothing more than gratuitous insults and half truths.

Therefore, the Prime Minister will speak directly to Canadians. I do hope that the leader of the official opposition is not suggesting that is in any way inappropriate.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

April 21st, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the former director general of the Liberal Party now says that the party exists “to take power, keep power and win back power”.

The result is that we have stories of fraud, theft, illegal lobbying, filing false election returns, money laundering, campaigning with dirty money and kickbacks. Now we can add to the list paying off campaign workers with an appointment as a judge.

Is it any surprise that the Prime Minister is afraid to come to the democratically elected chamber and show his face?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Clearly, Mr. Speaker--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Deputy Prime Minister is used to a lot of cheering, but we do not have to have it when she is giving an answer. The hon. Deputy Prime Minister has the floor so we can hear her answer.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, clearly Mr. Corbeil has made very serious and disturbing allegations. In fact, if those allegations are true, everyone in the House would condemn that conduct and those activities.

We have made it very plain in the House that anyone who has done wrong should be punished to the full extent of the law, which is why Mr. Justice Gomery needs to be allowed to finish his work.

Mr. Corbeil's allegations are simply that. Mr. Corbeil, as I understand it, will be appearing before the Gomery investigation. We should permit Mr. Justice Gomery to conclude his work and hear from Mr. Corbeil.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a former director general of the Liberal Party of Canada admitted that people from the Liberal Party are there to take power, stay in power, and regain power. And what is the result? We have fraud, illegal lobbying, theft, threats, extortion, falsified election reports, money laundering, campaigns run with dirty money, and now they are rewarding volunteers by appointing them judges.

Is it any surprise that the Prime Minister is terrified at the thought of explaining all this here?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 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, Mr. Corbeil has obviously made serious and disturbing allegations. If in fact Mr. Corbeil or others are guilty of any of those activities, they should be punished to the full extent of the law. We have been absolutely clear about that.

I again say it is so important that Mr. Justice Gomery be allowed to continue his investigation. Mr. Corbeil will be appearing before the Gomery investigation.

If Mr. Justice Gomery is allowed to report, all Canadians will know what happened, who was involved and the appropriate action will be taken.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, another Liberal insider has come forward with new information about the shadowy world of Liberal power brokering.

Benoit Corbeil reveals that top godfathers of the Liberal Party, whom he calls the Liberal network, control everything. They decide who gets government contracts and who does the money laundering that helps Liberals get elected with illegal cash. He says the Liberal network goes right up into the Prime Minister's office and states that everyone knew what was happening.

In the face of mounting evidence, does the Prime Minister still plead ignorance?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations and we will not defend the kinds of activities that Mr. Corbeil is alleging. They are indefensible.

What we will defend and what the Prime Minister will defend is the right for Canadians to have the truth. That is why we will continue to defend the work of Justice Gomery.

It is important to recognize that these allegations in fact contradict some other allegations by Mr. Brault. That is why it is important that we trust Justice Gomery to consider all the allegations and to give Canadians the truth they deserve.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Benoit Corbeil was the executive director of the Liberal Party's Quebec wing during the height of ad scam. He tells of tens of thousands in laundered cash, fake election volunteers from ministers' offices, regular flouting of election law, judgeships for helping elect Liberals, false invoices. He says that all this was orchestrated by the Prime Minister's office and top Liberals in Quebec.

The Prime Minister was the most senior Quebec minister at the time. How can anyone believe he was clueless about all this?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, listening to the opposition members, in my view they are becoming experts in trafficking in innuendo and in drive-by smears and show no respect for the House or the rule of law in this country.