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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

International AidOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, unlike previous governments, this government acted immediately with its pledge of support. We immediately sent personnel into the region and they will be arriving today. As well, I spoke with the foreign minister from Indonesia to assure him of Canada's ongoing commitment and support. As for the specific spending, that will be done in conjunction, obviously, with the Indonesian government, our international partners and other groups that are there, including the Red Cross which is doing exemplary work.

I thank the hon. member for the question because it is important for Canadians to know that Canada has been very active, proactive and out in front on this issue leading all countries.

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, farmers in Manitoba have faced years of flooding, which has resulted in lost income and lost potential as land is often saturated and unproductive for long periods of time. This year floods again threaten their livelihoods.

Could the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell us what the government has done to help those farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the losses that Canadian farmers, especially those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, have suffered because of the flooding in 2005 and 2006. That is why in these past few days we have committed to provide another $50 million in funding for our new cover crop program. We are continuing with programming to help restore an estimated three million acres of flood-affected farmland. There are major changes to the CAIS program, better support programs, better biodiesel production and better disaster relief programs.

This government remains committed now in the crisis and in the future for Canadian agriculture.

Personal InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the newspaper La Presse reports today that the American Patriot Act is once again threatening the privacy of not only thousands of Quebeckers, but also many other Canadians who work for Canadian subsidiaries of American companies.

Can the government promise these concerned Canadians that their personal information will be protected and that George Bush and the FBI will not have access to it?

Personal InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we are all tremendously concerned about the privacy of Canadians. This government will take every measure necessary to ensure that the private information of Canadians is fully protected.

When this issue was brought to my attention, we immediately acted. This has been on the public radar screen for some two years.

I did notice that after we came forward with an action plan to address the privacy concerns, the Privacy Commissioner said in a press release, “This comprehensive strategy is a positive step toward addressing Canadians’ concerns about the flow of their personal information across borders”, and the Privacy Commissioner congratulated the government for our swift action.

Personal InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that unless there is legislation passed specifically prohibiting this data from flowing out of this country into the United States, whether by an employer or any other source, that information has to be passed on. There are legal opinions from two of the major law firms in this country that have told the government that.

Will the government today commit to bring forward immediately legislation prohibiting that data from leaving this country to the United States?

Personal InformationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the member is right in that all Canadians should be concerned about every aspect of the privacy of personal information. I can commit to the member that we will take every reasonable effort to ensure that the privacy of Canadians is fully protected.

We have worked with a number of the departments which are affected, those where there is a concern, and we will continue to do that. They will be required to report back to the Treasury Board Secretariat every three months. We will be giving vigilant examination of this. In conjunction with the Privacy Commissioner, we will work to ensure that the very best can be done to ensure the protection of Canadians' privacy.

DarfurOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the continuing violence in Darfur has taken the life of an African Union peacekeeper in a bloody ambush. The Sudanese government agreed to allow a UN team to visit Darfur to prepare for the possibility of peacekeepers. The UN Secretary-General is now preparing to deploy nearly 20,000 needed peacekeepers.

We know that the genocide in Darfur is not one of the government's five priorities, but can the minister guarantee that Canadian troops will take part in the UN peacekeeping force that is currently being assembled.?

DarfurOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have had no requests for troops for Darfur additional than what we have provided. If and when the request comes, we will consider it.

IndonesiaOral Questions

May 29th, 2006 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend we saw the devastating effects of an earthquake on the country of Indonesia. People have been left homeless. While searching for food and water, Indonesians are also working hard to rebuild their homes, their schools and their lives.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell us what she has done to offer assistance to this devastated country?

IndonesiaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, our government immediately set aside $2 million to aid the disaster victims. In the hours that followed, $500,000 was allocated to the International Red Cross Federation. As well, thanks to our efficient method of funding the world food program, it was able to provide assistance immediately following the earthquake.

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have just witnessed Enron executives being brought to justice and convicted of securities fraud. In the United States corporate criminals go to jail. Here in Canada they go to the golf course.

As soon as the Enrons and the Worldcoms came to light, the United States took immediate action against corporate white collar crime. Canada is still seen as the wild west of securities regulation.

When will the government turn its attention to corporate crime and investor protection and raise our standards at least to those south of the border?

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, indeed corporate white collar crime is a serious concern. When this party was in opposition we expressed concern about some of the weak legislation that was being put forward by the Liberals. I am prepared to work with opposition parties to see how and when we should strengthen that legislation.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society found that women with silicone breast implants had very high levels of platinum salts in their urine and hair, which could cause toxic reactions, such as asthma and nerve damage, and weaken the immune system.

Given these results and the astronomical number of breast implants women have received, will the minister review the current special access program for medical devices?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the hon. member that no medical device, including silicone gel breast implants, is approved or authorized for sale in Canada if the health risks exceed the benefits. That is our government's position. We support women's health.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

We have exhausted the list of questions for today.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to 17 petitions.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair has notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Kitchener—Waterloo.

Immigration Target NumbersPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question of privilege relates to the question and answer period on May 18 where I posed a question to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration about immigration targets.

The minister stated in the House that the Liberals missed their targets in each of the past 10 years. I asserted that the previous Liberal government in the past six years not only met the targets each year, but exceeded the targets four times.

The information I used is information that is tabled in this chamber each year. The information is on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. No doubt, because the minister is brand new in his portfolio and has not read his briefing notes yet, he has inadvertently misled the House.

We should either get the correct facts from the minister, or at the very least, change the government website. When a minister gives us an answer in the House that is totally contrary to the facts, then I submit that my privileges as a member have been breached.

Mr. Speaker, should you find that I have a prime facia question of privilege, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion.

Immigration Target NumbersPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have a pretty formal response that I could deliver to the hon. member across the way, but I think I will dispense with that. I would simply point out that this is not a prime facia case of privilege and I could point to page 50 of Marleau and Montpetit where Erskine May is quoted as saying:

Parliamentary privilege is the sum of the peculiar rights enjoyed by each House collectively...and by Members of each House individually, without which they could not discharge their functions--

I could go on along that line, but I will simply say that if the member would refer to his own party's 1993 red book, it states:

We should continue to target immigration levels of approximately one percent of the population each year--

One per cent of the population would mean from 1995--I have given the member the benefit of the doubt--to the time the Liberals ceased to be the government, they fell short of their target by about 943,000 people.

I want to point to the 2000 Auditor General's report where she analyzed Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Here is what she said about the annual plan that was presented to Parliament:

The annual plan is based on the federal government's current direction to accept annually a number of immigrants equalling up to one percent of Canada's population.

The Auditor General was labouring under the same illusion apparently that I was, which is that the previous government really meant what it said when it put one per cent down as its target.

I would simply say that not only is the member wrong about what I said in the House, he in fact does not even know the facts about what his own party committed to in 1993. The fact is that he and his party fell short of their commitment by close to one million people. I wish he would read his own platform before he gets up and makes a claim like the one he has made today.

Immigration Target NumbersPrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It is apparent that the issue raised, while no doubt of interest to the minister and to the hon. member for Kitchener—Waterloo and I am sure to many other hon. members, is clearly a matter of debate and not a question of privilege. I think the Chair has shown sufficient latitude in allowing the two members to make the statements they made and to clarify the matter for all hon. members.

Breast Implant Registry ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-312, An Act to establish and maintain a national Breast Implant Registry.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have an opportunity to reintroduce this bill, which I have tried in the past on numerous occasions to get before the House or to suggest to the government that it might want to take it and run with it.

Here I am again trying to convince all members of Parliament to support an initiative that would establish and maintain a national breast implant registry. We want to do this out of the concern of safety, health and well-being of women in the country today. It fills a critical gap in women's health protection by collecting currently unavailable data about implant procedures and data that is needed as a base for informed health based decisions by women and physicians.

The bill will protect individual privacy, while providing an effective means of notifying women of threats to their health. I hope all members will support this initiative.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Broadcasting ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-313, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and the Income Tax Act (closed-captioned programming).

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be introducing, for the fourth time, this bill to amend the Broadcasting Act to make closed captioning mandatory. I hope that the government will support this bill in order to ensure that every Canadian has equal rights in terms of communications and information.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Child CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to introduce a petition on the subject of child care, an issue which is important to many Canadians. This petition comes from people in my riding from the Strathmillan Children's Center. The petitioners are concerned that there are not enough resources to conduct child care in a manner that they would like.

Citizenship and ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am once again rising to present a petition that calls upon Parliament to immediately halt the deportation of undocumented workers.

Last Friday, in Toronto, I participated in a press conference organized by Access Alliance with health care workers who expressed concern about the recent acceleration in deportations. As a result of the fear that has developed, many undocumented workers are failing to get the health care that they and their families require.

I would ask the government to respect the principles set out by the World Health Organization on international migration, health and human rights. Health care is a fundamental right to be enjoyed by every human being without discrimination. The international convention on the protection of rights of all migrant workers and members of their families also provides additional human rights protection for migrants and undocumented migrants.