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House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-48.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think if we read the Ethics Commissioner's report in its totality, we would have an opportunity to see that there is a process in place that takes everybody into consideration.

What the Ethics Commissioner did not indicate of course is the cyclical recurring events that require decisions because they take place at a particular moment in time. One of those events is taking place this weekend. I hope to see some of the members opposite at that same convention which will see thousands of people coming from all over the world, some of whom had to get TRPs to enter.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government makes legitimate immigrants jump through hoops to get into the country, but then lets its friends and supporters jump the queue.

During the last week of the campaign, the former minister authorized six permits for a gentleman described as “a great resource to the election campaign....He was able to provide volunteers, man hours, and labour”.

Will the government clean up its act, introduce transparency, and stop using TRPs for election purposes?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if we are talking about cleaning up acts, let me advise all members that those who come to the Government of Canada for assistance are not asked to put in deposits in order to ensure that they are rendered service. We do not need anybody to sign guarantee forms of $1,000, $5,000, $50,000, or $250,000. The work is provided because the Government of Canada, and the Liberal Party as well, provides the service as is due all those citizens who access government services.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that minister should learn what is going on in his department because it surely is not moving to the effect that we would like it to be.

In responding to pressure from the Conservative Party last fall, the government claimed it shut down the stripper program. However, HRSD spokesperson, Sandy MacDonald said in today's Globe and Mail that the government has only taken a temporary hiatus in promoting the sex trade. I quote, “New applications from exotic dancers will once again be processed”.

Why is the department promising that it will start processing these applications when the government claimed it shut the program down?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated before, we do not provide any temporary work visas to those on a basis of a blanket market assessment. They are only on a case by case basis. People have to make their case, employers and employees, potential or not. Unless those cases are proven, then there is no permit.

I do not know what the member is talking about. In fact, I could hardly recognize him. I am not sure it is his double.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise that the minister continues to defend dancers. He seems to be quite good at tap dancing around all the questions we give him.

The current HRSD minister was at one time concerned about the sexual exploitation of people coming into this country. Now as a Liberal cabinet minister she is taking steps to reinstate a program that would import foreign workers into Canada's sex trade.

Did the minister knowingly sign off on a labour market opinion for these strippers, or did she simply reinstate this program that her government supposedly cancelled?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the program is still under review, and we will report back in a couple of weeks. We review each case on a case by case basis. No new applications have been approved since the review has been completed.

AgricultureOral Question Period

June 23rd, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.

Several months ago the government announced the closure of four science sites including the Kapuskasing Experimental Farm. I realize the government wants to ensure that money for science is spent on research and development and not on unnecessary maintenance and other overhead costs.

On May 17 at the agriculture committee the minister said he intends to conduct a broad review of how agricultural science is conducted and to look for possible partnerships with the provinces, universities, research centres, and others.

Could the minister update the House on this very important issue?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we will be conducting a national review, one which will ensure that we maintain our national and regional commitments to science, one which will make sure that we talk to and engage stakeholders. In the interim, we will be putting a moratorium on the closures that were announced in Kapuskasing, Nappan, St. John's and Winnipeg.

I would like to thank the member for Avalon, the member for Kings--Hants, and the member for Cumberland--Colchester for their input on this matter.

TransportOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the port of Halifax generates an economic impact annually of 9,000 jobs and $700 million. In a flurry of pre-election hype last May, $423 million in federal dollars was announced for maritime and marine security improvements, yet when Halifax applied for a mere $1.2 million for security upgrades, the Halifax Port Authority received only $220,000 of the $423 million.

Will the minister assure us today that in the second round of marine security funding, the $2.9 million--

TransportOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Transport.

TransportOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, obviously in the first round the port of Halifax did not get all the money it wanted, like every other port, but we have other measures and other rounds. We know that when it files the application and applies for the right things, the money will be there. The money is in the budget and will help all the ports that need security, and Halifax is one of them.

TransportOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Halifax is Canada's third largest port and it is key to our regional and national economy. Some 525,000 containers pass through Halifax port annually, making security serious business. In round one of security improvements, with container traffic just over twice that of Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver received 15 and 40 times more funding respectively.

Will the minister give assurances today that in round two Halifax will receive its fair share of federal funding for training and technology security enhancements?

TransportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course we are going to treat Halifax fairly, but it has to go with the applications and things that are allowed under the program. The money is there. If it applies for the right things, it gets the right amount of money.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson Conservative St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence continues to downplay the effects of agent orange on our military personnel and completely dismisses the impact on surrounding communities and civilians. DND has already prejudged the outcome of any future investigations, suggesting nothing new will be found.

How can the minister claim any legitimacy on this file when his officials have already predetermined the outcome?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I totally reject the premise of the question. We have not predetermined anything. I have been very clear with the House. These are events that took place a long time ago. We do know for a fact that these events took place over three days in one year and four days in another year, 1966 and 1967. There were a limited number of acres that were sprayed with agent orange and agent purple.

We are working with the communities. We will work with all Canadians who risk having been affected by this. We do not minimize it. We recognize this is an important issue. We want to make sure that Canadians are dealt with properly in this and we will do so.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, in response to questions about the Technology Partnerships Canada program, the industry minister stated the following:

All of the money that was paid to consultants who were helping clients obtain TPC money has been returned. All of it has been returned, every cent.

He also said:

The reality is the audit is not complete. The audits are very complex.

If the audit is not complete, how does the minister know that every cent has been returned?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Edmonton--Leduc is waiting very patiently for the answer. The minister has risen to answer and the member will want to hear it.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is very funny. I think the hon. member knows that I was referring to the forensic audit. The forensic audit identified four situations where a contingency fee was paid and the contract explicitly prohibits a contingency fee.

The hon. member would be more responsible if he would congratulate Industry Canada on the good work it is doing in improving the administration of the program, in auditing so effectively and protecting taxpayers' money.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a unanimous Senate report on productivity tabled yesterday recommends that the government should immediately eliminate federal capital tax, slash corporate income tax rates and allow businesses to more aggressively write off capital investments. That would expand the economy so that we could fund social programs down the road.

Why did the Liberals trade away Canada's ability to fund future social programs so that they could cut a backroom deal with Buzz Hargrove and the NDP? How low will they go?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact we have taken action to improve capital cost allowances. We are proposing to eliminate the capital tax. We are going further and proposing to eliminate the surtax. We are also proposing to reduce income tax rates. All of this is to improve productivity and competitiveness.

At the same time, we also believe it is important to invest in education and skills training, to invest in housing, to invest in the environment and to invest in foreign aid. The government is proving that it is possible to do all of those things at the same time.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, funny they did not know that in February.

Look at the government's pathetic record. Canada right now is competing with Denmark as the least productive country in the western world. That is probably because we sent them Gagliano, who knows.

The fact is under the government, our productivity record is worse than those of Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Greece, United States, United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Australia, Finland and Ireland. That speaks volumes.

Why does the government not just admit that it has sold us out, sold out our ability to fund future social programs, our ability to raise the standard of living, just so the Liberals could cut a deal with the NDP?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what a shameful question.

The fact of the matter is that Canada's rate of productivity improvement over the last number of years is the second best in the G-7. We intend to become the best in the G-7. That is the purpose of our productivity agenda.

Let me refer the hon. gentleman to a great Canadian humorist, Rick Mercer, who today said, “Is there anything more pathetic than sitting indoors while the sun is shining reading a blog written by Monte Solberg?”

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the Minister of Finance was referring to the popular member for Medicine Hat when he mentioned that name. He knows that even reading something that has a member's name in it, we have to be very careful in the House to use the member's constituency name or other title. I have to issue this admonition to the minister and would want him to comply with the rules in every respect the next time he answers a question from the hon. member for Medicine Hat.

The hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.