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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

Sound and Light ShowStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I have a great announcement for all the people who live in Ottawa, Gatineau or any Canadian citizen coming to Ottawa this summer.

The popular Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill is ready for another summer season starting July 5 and running until September 11. The theme for this year's show is “Canada: The Spirit of a Country”.

This inspiring show uses fantastic lighting effects and impressive, gigantic images projected onto the Parliament Buildings and the Peace Tower. It is woven with a rich tapestry of words, music and sounds to tell the story of Canada, a nation of communicators.

Everything that makes Canada spectacular has challenged us to become some of the best communicators in the world. I ask everyone to come and share the culture, landscapes and achievements that make our nation unique; come celebrate the spirit of a country.

The Sound and Light Show is a half-hour bilingual program that runs summer evenings on Parliament Hill, an extraordinary place to watch a show, and is free of charge. I highly recommend that all Canadians come and watch this spectacular nighttime show on the lawn of Parliament Hill.

Mondial des CulturesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, 24 years ago, when the Festival mondial de folklore de Drummondville, now the Mondial des Cultures, was created, we were not nearly as multicultural as we are today, especially in Drummondville, where there were very few immigrants. Coming up with the idea of creating an international festival of world cultures here required a great deal of imagination.

This year's lineup includes 20 acts, from Croatia, South Korea, Mexico, the Basque region and Romania, and also the Trinity Irish Dancers from New York and, for the first time, a troupe from Haiti. This is what makes Drummondville the capital of the world!

This year's event features the voice, the expression of language and peoples. The program includes the Great Voices of Bulgaria, Corneille, Véronique Claveau, Martin Giroux, Julie Lauzon and the Artzimut choir.

The Bloc Québécois commends the Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville for its excellent work and invites the public to join the festivities from July 7 to 17.

Have a good festival.

Satellite RadioStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been almost two weeks since the CRTC decision on satellite radio and we have heard nothing but static and white noise from the Liberal government.

This decision is a digital stake through the heart of the Canadian Broadcasting Act. The CRTC has tossed overboard francophone radio. The CRTC has tossed overboard aboriginal radio. The CRTC has tossed overboard ethnocultural radio.

Most of all, the CRTC has overturned the fundamental principles of Canadian content in Canada.

What have we won? This opportunity for the CBC to hang on the coattails of the big U.S. machine in the biggest cultural dumping scheme in radio history.

The CRTC says that it is okay to have one Canadian voice in 10 on our airwaves. Why the silence from the heritage minister? Why the lack of action from the government?

We are calling on the Liberal cabinet to overturn this decision and send a clear message that it will fight for Canadian voices on our airwaves.

Air-IndiaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, during the trip to Ireland it was more than apparent that the victims' families were not satisfied with the government's handling of the Air-India issue, and neither are most members of Parliament.

On April 12 a majority of the members of the House voted to direct the government to immediately hold a public inquiry into the Air-India issue.

Will the Prime Minister honour the will of the House, yes or no?

Air-IndiaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the memorial that was held in Ireland was very emotional, and justifiably so this being an enormous Canadian tragedy.

At the meeting, as we have in the past, the hon. Bob Rae met with the families, as did I, and have said that once Mr. Rae has completed his examination and his discussions with the families, the option that the government will take will follow that recommendation in terms of the nature of how we should come to the answers that they and the country justifiably require.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the following is a second example of the government's failure to act on the decisions of Parliament.

On April 20 the House unanimously called for the immediate compensation of all hep C victims and yet the government has still not spent one additional dime.

Before the House breaks for the summer could the Prime Minister tell us why the hep C sufferers have still not received the promised compensation?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition knows that this is an issue that is before the courts. As well, there are lawyers talking to other lawyers from both of the classes, the class of 1986 to 1990 and the class of pre-1986 and post-1990. They are engaged in discussions.

There is no question that there is a will on the part of the government to ensure all of the victims are adequately compensated.

Transfer PaymentsOral Question Period

June 27th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing that when they were talking to Jean Chrétien's lawyers, unlike the hep C or Air-India cases, they were able to get immediate action and immediate agreement.

I have a third example. On November 2, 2004, the House passed a resolution calling on the government to recognize the existence of the fiscal imbalance. Almost eight months later, the Prime Minister still has not reacted.

Is the Prime Minister close to admitting that the fiscal imbalance exists?

Transfer PaymentsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as we have pointed out in the House on a number of occasions, federal transfers to the provinces are now at an all-time record high. Over the course of the next 10 years they are scheduled to increase by another $100 billion.

In addition to that, the government will continue to look for ways in which it can cooperate with the provinces and build an ever stronger federation.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday the Liberals cut a deal with the separatists to ensure that the socialists had the only winning number in the Liberal lotto that week with an estimated jackpot of $4.6 billion. That is $132 for every man, woman and child in Canada and $530 in extra taxes for a family of four.

What is the next deal that the Liberals will cut to stay in power and how much will it cost Canadians?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, members of the official opposition stood in their places on February 23 when the budget was presented and said that it was a good budget and that it was a budget that they could support.

That remained their position for about seven weeks and then they flip-flopped. They reversed themselves 180°. They swallowed themselves whole and caused absolute chaos for six weeks. The end result is that the House has adopted a good budget balance.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will not hold it against the minister for not answering the question. I know he did not actually get to participate in helping to form this part of the budget, as he would like to call it.

I am wondering though if he could do us all a favour. I wonder if he could ask the leader of the NDP if the NDP will be submitting more spending demands as the price to keep the corrupt government in power. Would he ask the leader of the NDP that for us?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman can be as snide and as rude as he chooses to be. The fact is that we are determined on this side to make this Parliament work. Canadians elected a minority Parliament. They want parliamentarians to behave, not as juvenile delinquents but as adults who have the goodwill and the good interest of this country at heart.

We did that. We proposed a budget, we negotiated some further amendments to it and that budget is good for all of Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, nearly 300 people from the Solidarité sans frontières coalition walked 200 kilometres from Montreal to Ottawa to protest the fate of out of status immigrants and refugees. This protest march clearly demonstrates the government's go slow approach to assuming its responsibilities. For example, it still has not implemented the refugee appeal division.

Given that everyone, including the UN, is calling for the implementation of the refugee appeal division, when will the government finally put it in place?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have already said in the House that I am waiting for the final report including an analysis of the current situation. As we know, six months ago we enacted the legislation allowing us to analyze the trends, measures and their effects on those seeking political refugee status. Once the analysis has been completed, we will make decisions and announce them to the House.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, is it too much to ask the current government to comply with the legislation it passed three years ago? We are not asking for the impossible: legislation was adopted three years ago. We are merely asking it this: would it be possible to implement this legislation? People are waiting, people without status, refugees who are in precarious situations. And the minister is thinking, one thought at a time.

Could the government do away with the red tape and simply implement this legislation?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the separatists will do well to talk to his member who sits on the parliamentary committee that demanded an in-depth study from the minister and the department, which should be ready six months later. The six months are not yet up.

Does the hon. member not want me to pay attention to the member's interventions?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is trying to avoid the issue. The government got the House to adopt a new Immigration Act in 2001. Until now, the refugee appeal division has been left behind, while the minister had promised to give his answer as to its implementation by the end of June 2005. We are at the end of June 2005, and three years later, the refugee appeal division is not in effect.

How can the minister justify failing to comply with the law adopted by Parliament and delaying the implementation of the appeal section, when the UN, Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the UN has said that Canada is the world leader in the treatment it gives refugees and seekers of political asylum. The world leader. Last year, we accepted 22% more than the previous year. So, if there is a problem, perhaps the ladies and gentlemen of the separatist party are beginning to see how Canada works.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the UN committee against torture says the exact opposite to what the minister has just said. According to this committee, there is no recourse to appeal a negative decision on its merits.

So, I again ask the minister why is he still refusing to comply with the legislation passed by this Parliament at the request of his government? Why?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we always comply with the law, but it has to be understood that laws are there to help citizens and those who decide to make Canada their country. The facts must be taken into account. The facts are that many more refugees have been accepted in Canada than were last year.

We have systems in place for appeals and we have the report of the standing committee of the House, which recommends that studies be done and that a response be provided after the end of June.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It concerns the Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. Her family uses temporary workers systematically in the large company owned by the family and yet she is in charge of policy affecting these very workers. It is a clear-cut conflict of interest, because what is good for Magna may not be good public policy.

The Prime Minister recuses himself from decisions regarding shipping policy. How is he going to instruct the human resources minister when it comes to decisions affecting temporary workers?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as with all of these issues, ministers who are in a position where advice is required seek it from the Ethics Commissioner. The minister in question has done that. She will be guided by the counsel and the advice of the Ethics Commissioner

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, whether or not that is going to turn out to be satisfactory remains to be seen, but here is the problem. We have a minister who is responsible for regulating the hours of work under EI and has very close connections with a firm that is one of the biggest users of temporary workers, yet she is also responsible for cleaning up government and how it works.

What sort of instruction will the Prime Minister give to the minister about how to clean up her own situation?