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House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was religious.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, like other ministers, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is required to file a comprehensive disclosure statement and to abide by any directions, as the Prime Minister said, the Ethics Commissioner may make. The Privy Council Office also works closely with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner to identify agenda items for cabinet that may require the recusal of ministers.

So in fact a direct response to the member opposite who asked the question is that the PCO will be working directly with the Ethics Commissioner. Where there is a requirement for recusal, the minister will be required to recuse herself.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week I searched the Technology Partnerships Canada website for a list of current repayments of the more than $2.7 billion that has been loaned out. There was a link, but it did not work.

Today the link on the TPC website to the repayment schedule has been erased completely, as if it was never there in the first place. Why did Industry Canada remove the link to the list of TPC repayments? What is the minister trying to hide?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if the link has been erased, it is for reasons that I am unaware of. It was certainly not by design. We are very committed to disclosing all the information that companies will permit us to disclose subject to commercial considerations.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, this vanishing link to repayments is a classic example of the mismanagement and secrecy that surrounds this whole program. They did the same thing when we asked about job creation figures. They removed that from the website.

The industry minister refuses to release the results of the forensic audit of TPC. Now he even refuses to allow the public to see how much of its money has been repaid under this program. Will the industry minister commit today in the House to put the repayments back on the website and will he release the results of this audit today?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that we will put the repayment schedule back on the website.

I have said before that I will be releasing the results of the forensic audit. Whether I do it today or not is uncertain, but it will be very soon.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Werner Schmidt Conservative Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has acknowledged in this House that $2 million of TPC money has been paid to the wrong people and not to legitimate companies seeking funding.

Has the minister issued an order that no officer of TPC is to meet in the future with lobbyists on behalf of companies seeking TPC grants? Has he put a stop to it?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know a lot about TPC because a half a million dollars in funding has gone into his riding. I am sure he is up to speed.

There is no prohibition against the use of consultants under the TPC program. The prohibition is a government-wide prohibition against the payment of contingency fees that create a moral hazard for people in government and for consultants and which we do not want to put up with even though in many cases it provides a very positive service to the companies concerned.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Werner Schmidt Conservative Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is typical Liberal rhetoric. Despite admitting that $2 million in TPC funds has already been misappropriated in the form of kickbacks to Liberal lobbyists, the minister refuses to put a stop to it.

Now he is asking the public to trust an audit conducted by his own office. When will the minister take responsibility for his department's failure, ask the Auditor General of Canada to conduct a full audit and stop the misappropriation of these TPC funds?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is sounding like a broken record. The reality is that it is against government policy to pay contingency grants or contingency payments. Companies enter into contracts which stipulate that no contingency fee will be paid. Those contracts are still in place. We will enforce them strongly.

In the case of any payments that have been made thus far, we have recovered the money. It is a matter of good, diligent audit that we have captured this and caught it in time.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, while hundreds of people are waiting for their immigrant status to be resolved, we learn that the daughter of a Syrian general, who, until recently, was responsible for the domestic intelligence service, will be coming to Canada shortly to give birth.

How does the government explain that this individual, as well as other members of her family, has a visa to give birth in Canada and is getting Canadian citizenship immediately?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am not in the habit of discussing and elaborating on a personal and individual case. I will make no exception today. We are clearly talking about an individual who received a visa like anyone else who follows the rules and regulations in place.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, if we are talking about humanitarian reasons, there are much more serious and clear cases that should find favour in the minister's eyes. I am talking about the Mexican family of five children the government plans to deport shortly.

Does the minister realize that he should direct his largesse elsewhere, instead of giving this Syrian citizen the right to have her child in Canada? Instead of chasing separatists all over the place, is the minister capable of doing his job and bringing forth an intelligent solution?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, to me, the use of theatrics is no mark of sincerity. On the subject of sincerity, we have a process in place that gives every individual seeking political asylum the chance for a response that complies with international conventions such as the 1951 UN convention. The entire process is based on that convention.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, far from being resolved, the contamination of water in Shannon by solvents used on the Valcartier base is spreading and is apparently now threatening the groundwater in Val-Bélair and possibly the safety of individual wells.

If everything in Shannon is business as usual, as the Minister of National Defence says, why is he delaying the publication of the report in his possession on the extent of the contamination in the region?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have already assured the hon. member countless times in this House, we are sharing with the public and the community all the information in our possession about the water contamination in Shannon and the work that has been done. The report the member has referred to a number of times in the House does not exist as such. There is only computer data, and we are sharing that data with the community.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am asking the minister not to wait 40 years, as was the case with Gagetown.

Now that we know that the contamination is about to spread to a Quebec City suburb, what steps does the minister intend to take in order to adequately protect the public's health and the local environment?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we will take measures similar to those we have already taken, in other words, we will continue to work with the community and everyone else to identify the source and nature of the contamination and the measures that need to be taken in order to protect the public.

We have already spent over $21 million in the community. We have provided homes with drinking water. We are continuing to do our job to protect the community and ensure that all contamination problems are resolved.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

June 27th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked to learn that the daughter and daughter-in-law of a powerful Syrian intelligence chief were given visitors' visas to Canada to allow them to give birth here. The babies automatically get Canadian citizenship, including the future right to sponsor family members into Canada.

Why did the government abuse our immigration system to give backdoor citizenship opportunities to senior members of a foreign dictatorship?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is a bit of a stretch to talk about the government abusing anything.

We have an individual who made an application. Quite frankly, I asked the standing committee of the House of Commons six questions in view of preparing for citizenship legislation that was forthcoming. She is a member of that citizenship committee and I am looking for a response that would address one of these issues.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the decision to approve these visas would automatically have triggered security and political concerns. Statesman category protocols govern such high risk and sensitive cases. This means our government deliberately chose to allow queue-jumping in these applications. Sources say that it is common for the children of senior regime figures to travel to Canada to give birth.

How can there be trust in Canada and in our immigration system when our own government gives out visitors' visas for political favour?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member would prefer to get off that particular line. There is no granting of any of these visitors' visas for political favours. That is a regrettable and reprehensible accusation on her part.

She should perhaps concentrate on getting forward a report, as asked, about how to address larger citizenship issues in that committee rather than repeat those same impeccable sources that nobody can identify.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals politicize visitors' visas and ministerial permits and continue to allow the abuse of our immigration system. The daughter-in-law of the notorious Syrian general, Bahjat Suleiman, was issued a visitor's visa to allow her to give birth in Canada so that the baby would automatically be a Canadian citizen. Now the general's pregnant daughter has been issued a visitor's visa so that she can give birth in Canada.

Why should Canadian citizenship be treated like a political favour?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I said in response to an earlier question, I am not sure that theatre is to be confused with sincerity.

The fact is, judging by the popular press, that someone made an application for a visitor's visa and now we have jumped to a series of other conclusions. I do not know whether we ought to do that. Quite frankly, these fall in the realm of some of the questions that I asked the standing committee to address in preparation for presentation of citizenship legislation that would include, among other things, how one acquires citizenship, how one might lose it, and the--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fleetwood--Port Kells.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, this unacceptable backdoor practice must stop and the visa that has been issued to the general's daughter must be revoked.

General Suleiman supported the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister in February. Why is it the practice of the government to issue visitors' visas to family members connected to such a ruthless man while countless other legitimate applicants are turned down?