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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday morning we learned of another tragic taser death. This is the second death in just one short month.

The British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec governments are all conducting reviews. A review of RCMP taser use protocol is not enough.

When will the government call a national review on the use of tasers that includes all law enforcement bodies?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, there are a number of ongoing reviews on this matter. I think the member, if he listened to my last answer, would understand that the minister has asked Mr. Paul Kennedy to bring back a report by December 12 on the use of the taser by the RCMP.

The hon. member has to also respect the jurisdictional issues that apply across the country.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the answer is not satisfactory. Two people have died and another one is in critical condition after being jolted by a taser. At least 19 people have died by taser since 2003.

Canadians are outraged. They want answers now. When will the government act responsibly and initiate a full national review and will the minister make all the reports public?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

As I said, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of ongoing investigations, including a number of provincial investigations. The minister has asked Mr. Paul Kennedy to bring back a report, which he will have on or before December 12. I think it is important we wait for that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the inaction on the part of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is responsible for the backlog at the IRB. When this government first came to power, the board had reduced the average processing time for refuge claims to 9.4 months. This year, there is a backlog of more than 12,000 files and the average processing time has jumped to 14.3 months. There are currently 43 vacant commissioner positions, which represents 34% of the total work force.

Is the minister aware that not enough of these positions are being filled and that the backlog will continue to grow?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we care very deeply about helping real refugees. Canadians want a government and a refugee system that helps legitimate refugees.

We have been taking steps to replace some hundred vacancies that the previous Liberal government allowed to be created. We have appointed over 70 new members for the IRB. We look forward to appointing more so we can deal with the backlog the Liberals created and ensure that legitimate refugees get the help they need and deserve.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the government is expecting a surplus of more than $11 billion this year. Yet, despite the Bloc Québécois' many questions, we still have not had an answer regarding full retroactivity for the guaranteed income supplement for our seniors. I would remind the House that 40,000 seniors in Quebec entitled to this supplement have yet to be contacted. What is more, the secretary of state for seniors is asking them to settle for 11 months of retroactivity.

How can the government on the one hand deny these older people indexation and their dignity, and on the other continue to plump up the coffers of the oil and gas companies?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I remind the member that this happened under the Liberal watch and nothing was done about it. Since we formed government, we have taken actions. We are committed to modernizing and strengthening the guaranteed income supplement, old age security, the pension plan, and that is exactly what we have done.

After years of being neglected by the Liberals, seniors can rest assured that the government is listening and we are delivering results.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ashley Smith tragically died at the Grand Valley Prison for Women when she suffocated herself just weeks before she was to be released. Rather than receiving treatment, this mentally unstable teenager spent most of her sentence in segregation. Segregation cannot be confused with treatment.

The government has ignored several reports calling for a mental health strategy in our prisons. When will the government take action and implement a mental health strategy in Canadian prisons?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to extend my sincere condolences to Ashley Smith's family. We do take the death of an inmate very seriously and the loss of life at any time is tragic.

This incident is extremely disturbing and of serious concern. I expect it will be addressed in an expedient, efficient and sensitive manner, after which appropriate action will be taken.

The commissioner has appointed Dianne Brown as the new warden of Grand Valley Institution for Women. She will commence her duties on Monday, November 26.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, two days ago the House heard about the success the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has achieved with respect to curtailing foreign overfishing. Notwithstanding this significant achievement, fisheries has faced significant challenges over the past several years.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans update the House on what the government has done to advance issues, bring forward opportunities and improve the economic viability of this important industry?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the question of my colleague is insightful and timely. It is timely because the minister is meeting with fisheries and aquaculture ministers from the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Nunavut today to discuss these very challenges that they are facing in the industry. The goal is to work together to enhance fisheries in a way that works for each province and territory.

Our minister is setting a new standard for working cooperatively with the provinces and territories as we continue to implement an “oceans to plate” approach to fisheries, just one more area where the government is taking action and getting the job done.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, from the closure of the cod fishery on the east coast to the millions of missing fish on the west coast, the collapse of fish stocks puts our culture, livelihoods and ecological heritage in jeopardy.

Employees of Fisheries and Oceans Canada are no longer able to fulfill their mandates in stock assessment and fisheries enhancement programs essential for preservation and rebuilding of fish stocks.

We just celebrated International Fisheries Day. Will the minister commit to increased funding for stock assessment, enhancement, enforcement and protection before we have nothing left to celebrate?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of my colleague's question. If she had been paying attention, she would have heard about our Pacific fisheries renewal initiative where we invested $175 million. A good portion of that money will go toward enforcement and stock assessment, the very things she mentions. We will do that because we want to ensure the fisheries survive and thrive.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the only thing new is repeated new calls for action from the government. I asked a similar question over a year ago and we have seen no evidence of any increase to funding, especially on the west coast.

What we do see are hatcheries and equipment in need of major repairs and employees doing the best they can with little resources. We see huge tax breaks for large corporations but no investment in fish habitat protection, leaving our stocks in peril.

When will the minister commit this increased funding to protect and conserve Canada's fragile fisheries?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the member was on July 16 of this year but that is when we announced the Pacific integrated commercial fisheries initiative and the $175 million. We are already moving forward with implementing the measures that will do the very things that we need to do to protect this fishery. We are getting the job done.

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

November 23rd, 2007 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, recently a government computer was stolen from the home of an HRSDC employee which contained the names, addresses, birthdates, SINs and banking information of over 1,300 Canadians, all of them seniors.

Although the government initially notified the people whose identity had been compromised, it has done nothing since, not even notifying banking institutions of the breach or providing counselling to those seniors. These seniors are very concerned and nervous.

What is the minister doing to protect those people and to ensure this does not happen again?

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we take this quite seriously. There is a process in place and we are doing everything possible to ensure this is taken care of.

Bill C-303Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday night we sat in this place ready to hear the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development speak to Bill C-303, a bill that the NDP had identified as a priority. However, when private members' hour came, imagine this. The NDP manipulated the system to delay the debate on its own child care bill on National Child Day.

I wonder if the parliamentary secretary has any insight into why the NDP might have done this and whether our government supports this private member's bill.

Bill C-303Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, it is because the NDP did not want parents to hear how this bill would remove real choice in child care and limit the options available to them.

I think the New Democrats are afraid that the public will realize that the only thing that the bill would do is remove the provinces that do not support this one size fits all model. They do not want Canadians to know that the provinces oppose the bill because it would put a halt to the creation of tens of thousands of child care spaces across the country.

I think the New Democrats have a hidden agenda. I think they and the opposition parties all have hidden agendas. The government realizes that and that is why we cannot support such a flawed bill.

Foreign Worker ProgramOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's temporary foreign worker program is fast-tracking thousands of people into Canada with complete disregard for their rights. Workers are paying thousands of dollars to come to Canada, only to be exploited, intimidated and traded from job to job, with no consequence or accountability.

Surely temporary workers must have the same opportunities for permanent residency as other immigrants and equal rights.

Will the government commit today to halt the expedited labour market opinion program until there is a full review and compliance mechanisms are in place, as it promised and has not yet delivered? Why are these workers--

Foreign Worker ProgramOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Foreign Worker ProgramOral Questions

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that we have some challenges. In the west, in particular, there are significant labour shortages. We as a government have been working with industry to expedite accessibility for foreign workers to keep our labour economy moving and to keep our businesses in business.

We need to work with them and they need to work with the provinces to ensure that all labour laws are respected by all employers and all of the employees. We are working to make that happen.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, shamefully, Canada voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now it has told the UN Human Rights Council that it would consider the declaration only where appropriate.

The idea that a human rights declaration adopted by the UN should apply in some countries but not others is an affront to the core principles of international human rights protection.

Why is the government undermining the rights of indigenous peoples at home and around the world?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

Noon

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I find that question quite surprising. Actually, it is our government that has pushed forward extending the Canadian Human Rights Act to first nations people. If it were not for the efforts of all the committee members and, in fact, the Prime Minister himself putting that important measure in the throne speech, the member opposite would probably still be voting against human rights for first nations people.