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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was religious.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the minister for raising a new bar of arrogance in this place.

The other day the Minister of Public Safety tried to mask the reality of how the Liberals have improved the security of Canadians. When men like Commisso can come to Canada, buy a house, get a driver's licence and live in our suburbs, it seems that the only security the Liberals can provide is financial security for the mobsters.

Why did it take over a year to catch this man? How does the Deputy Prime Minister expect Canadians to feel safe when they made Mr. Commisso an offer he could not refuse?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, the RCMP and the CBSA worked very closely on this case.

I will not comment on individual circumstances but I will reassure Canadians that we take their safety and the integrity of their safety very seriously.

I cannot comment further on any extradition proceedings that might take place. That is a matter for the Minister of Justice and the Department of Justice. However the named individual is someone who is now--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, concerning the refugee appeal division provided for by law, the minister is making excuses not to establish this mechanism requested by many organizations, including the UN committee against torture.

How can the minister explain with a straight face that, three years after the legislation was passed in Parliament, this mechanism has yet to be established, despite requests from international organizations and despite the fact that people are suffering and are being penalized because this appeal mechanism does not exist, even though the minister has repeatedly promised to deal with the situation?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, individuals who seek political asylum are not disadvantaged by the mere fact that there is no appeal system. They are disadvantaged because of the bad conditions in the countries they come from. It is important to remember that last year this country welcomed 22% more refugees. This shows that something is working pretty well.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the lawyer representing the Mexican family facing removal as early as tomorrow morning stated that an appeal mechanism would represent a solution for this family.

Does the minister not realize that the government's inability to comply with its own legislation is severely penalizing individuals, who are thus denied rights and are victims of its mismanagement? What is he waiting for to act?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I still want to act. I am not referring to any case in particular, but each individual who seeks Canadian protection has an opportunity, after having been heard by the Immigration and Refugee Board, to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal and, then, to another mechanism on humanitarian or compassionate grounds.

There is always a whole procedure to follow.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is increasingly obvious that the government is resigned to seeing the price of gas skyrocket. Contrary to statements by the Minister of Industry, there are ways to monitor the petroleum industry, but obviously the political will to act is lacking.

What will it take for the Minister of Industry to amend the Competition Act and significantly increase the investigative powers of the Competition Bureau, which, according to the former commissioner, does not have the authority under current legislation to investigate the industry? What will it take for him to act?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, while I thank the hon. member for the question, I must say that following the tradition of the Parti Québécois perhaps he should recommend to Parliament that we repeal the laws of supply and demand. In the meantime, let us get on with the amendments to the Competition Act, which are designed to deal with the very issues he is talking about. We will go further, but we will consult with industry on how to take those amendments further.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, consumers clearly do not consider the government's inaction to be a solution, now that the price of gas has passed the $1 per litre mark.

Does the Minister of Industry not think it is time to retain the recommendations put forward by the Bloc Québécois demanding that the Competition Bureau be granted the authority to conduct independent investigations into the petroleum industry, and send the message that the current inaction has gone on long enough?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that it still costs more for a litre of Coke than it does for a litre of gas.

I will say this. I welcome suggestions from the member opposite on how we can strengthen the Competition Act. We will certainly consider constructive suggestions on how we can improve that act and improve public policy for all Canadians and for competition in the marketplace.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been four months since the death of four RCMP officers near Mayerthorpe, Alberta, but what has the government done to make our communities and our police officers safer? The families of the victims want changes to our criminal justice system. They are coming to Ottawa this fall to make their case.

How will the minister explain his inaction to the RCMP families when they get here?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me say that my colleague, the Minister of Justice, and I take very seriously the concerns that were raised yesterday by the families of the four fallen RCMP officers from Mayerthorpe. The Minister of Justice and I will be more than happy to meet with the families.

As did the Prime Minister, I certainly had the opportunity to talk to them at the time of the terrible tragedy, but the Minister of Justice and I will look forward to discussions with them around how we can improve different elements of our criminal justice system.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, if that is what she is going to tell them this fall, they are going to be very disappointed.

Yesterday in London, Ontario, two police officers were shot during an incident that left four people dead. The Canadian Police Association wants minimum sentences for serious crimes. The London police chief wants them. It seems that the only one who does not want them is our justice minister.

Mandatory minimum prison sentences are not only about deterrence; they are about protection. Is the government committed to minimum sentences for serious violent crimes?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have said before and I will repeat again that the evidence we have thus far has demonstrated that mandatory minimums serve neither as a deterrent nor an effect. We share with the hon. member the concern with respect to the protection of public safety. We now await a report that is about to be tendered with respect to the deputy ministers who have looked into this issue. We will see what their response is on matters of mandatory minimums and other sentencing principles.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the Ontario Court of Appeal refused a request to unseal Justice Fred Kaufman's report into the 1959 murder conviction of Steven Truscott. The court said the report's contents are a matter of public interest but are protected by solicitor-client privilege that only the Minister of Justice can waive.

Steven Truscott, who has the most to lose if this information is prejudicial to his case, has called for the release of that report. In the interests of the public, will the Minister of Justice waive the privilege so Canadians can finally see the material that the judge and the minister himself concluded was a miscarriage of justice for Steven Truscott?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in our submission to the court we said at the time that we had no objection to the release of Justice Kaufman's report with appropriate protections in matters of privacy and in the interests of the administration of justice. One of the parties objected to the release of the report. We are now going to confer to see whether we will nonetheless authorize the court to release it, notwithstanding that there may be an objection by one of the parties.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it has been an excruciating 45 years for the Truscott family in its wait for fundamental justice. In December, the Ontario Court of Appeal issued directions to ensure a fair review of the Truscott case. The court said it would rely on the information provided to Justice Kaufman but not the report itself. Last week, Justice David Doherty expressed concern about the sealing of this important information in one of the most well known criminal cases in Canada.

Why is the Minister of Justice compounding the injustice for the Truscott family, in this case by continuing to assert solicitor-client privilege in refusing to release the Kaufman report?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member should read the decision from which he is quoting. In fact, the December decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal said it would not release the report because of considerations of privacy and in the interests of the administration of justice. As a result of this most recent judgment, we said we would now be prepared to look into it.

As I have said, I have no objection to releasing that report. In fact, I look forward to it, provided it is consistent with issues of privacy and the administration of justice. We will address that in our letter to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

June 28th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Liberal Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, recent media reports say that Toyota plans to build a new auto assembly plant in southern Ontario. This would be the first greenfield auto assembly plant built in Canada in almost 20 years.

Could the Minister of Industry advise the House whether the federal government has been active in trying to secure this investment and the 1,300 direct jobs it could bring?

Automobile IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question, and I want to thank the hon. member for Kitchener—Conestoga for the good work he has done in expressing the interests of the auto industry in our caucus and supporting the auto supply industry.

I want to say that if there is an announcement on Toyota in the next couple of days it will be because the Prime Minister met directly with the president of Toyota in Tokyo and encouraged Toyota to put that plant here in Canada. I think we are going to be successful.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it would be a great day if he were to announce a shipbuilding policy in this country.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Mining Watch Canada today issued a blistering report on the failures of DFO to do a very simple thing for the protection of fish and fish habitat. From British Columbia to Newfoundland and from Yukon to Nova Scotia, fish habitat and fish are disappearing at an alarming rate. Why? Because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans refuses to do its job.

I ask the Prime Minister of Canada, will he put the minister and the department out to pasture and call an inquiry into the practices and policies of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows that my first priority is fish and fish habitat. That is why last week in Vancouver I announced our wild salmon policy, which makes it very clear that conservation is our first principle. I am doing my job, not grandstanding like my hon. friend.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is insulting for the minister to compare the price of Coke to the price of gas. We do not need Coke but we do need gas.

Gasoline prices are higher than ever. The cost of living is killing consumers. Businesses continue to increase the price of their products and services to offset these costs. According to one study, many Canadians are giving up the idea of travelling this summer due to the price of gas. The Canadian economy will suffer as a result.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Will the Liberal government take the necessary steps to halt this unjustifiable increase in gasoline prices?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see that there is gathering support in the House to repeal the laws of supply and demand, but I will say once again that since 1990 there have been five reviews of competition in the oil and gas industry and not one of them found any evidence of anti-competitive conduct

. If the member thinks there has been anti-competitive conduct, he should ask to have an investigation launched.