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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was troops.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have done better than that. I have voiced our concerns directly to the President of Mexico. I have spoken directly to my counterpart, the Secretary of State for Mexico.

We have had ongoing dialogue. We have had ongoing contact with Mexican officials, within hours of the murder being discovered, and we will continue to do so.

I spoke with Mr. Ianiero shortly after this tragic event occurred to express the sympathies and the support of the Canadian government. I have met with the two individuals who, by all accounts, have been wrongfully accused. We will continue to work to the best of our ability to assist Mexican officials to find the perpetrators.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

I take it, Mr. Speaker, that this is a brush-off of our government and our foreign minister by the Mexican authorities.

We can see the results the minister gets in consular cases.

Justice has not been served in the case of the Ianiero family. Dr. Everall and Ms. Kim continue to be identified as hired killers.

Huseyin Celil has still been given a life sentence in China. In addition, an innocent individual by the name of Brenda Martin is languishing in a Mexican prison.

Let me make it clear. Will the minister now inform Mexico that Canada wants Cheryl Everall and Kimberley Kim exonerated and that we believe the Ianiero murder investigation was indeed a complete farce?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, what I have indicated is that of course we will continue to do everything in our ability to assist in catching the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

What is very interesting is that the member opposite is the same member who went off half-cocked, without facts, desperately chasing a headline, as he always does, when he said this within days of the murder:

If the Mexican theory is correct, there are two murderers back in Canada and their trails are getting colder the longer the RCMP fails to act. It doesn't constitute interference in my experience. It requires the government to discharge its responsibility to investigate what may be a question of domestic security.

It is that kind of torqued rhetoric from the member opposite that does not help.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, in March the government closed--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I would urge the hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East and some of his colleagues on the other side to carry on their argument outside so the rest of us can proceed with question period.

The hon. member for Richmond Hill now has the floor.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, in March the government closed Canadian consulates in Italy, Russia and Japan. Now 19 more Canadian diplomatic offices are rumoured to be on the chopping block.

Would the minister explain how these closures during a time of massive surpluses will enhance Canada's diplomatic activity, and did his deputy minister explicitly recommend the closures or was this the minister's idea?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, once again the key word in the member's question was “rumour”. More quidnuncs from the Liberal Party.

What we have done is what previous governments have done. In fact the member opposite would know that during his time in government, the 13 years, the Liberals closed 31 missions abroad.

We are doing what all governments should do, reviewing the places where we could have the most important strategic presence, and we will make ongoing assessments as time goes by.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. minister that in fact when we closed consulates, we had inherited a $42.5 billion deficit and we then repaired the problem.

These closures are symbolic of how badly the government misunderstands foreign policy.

Could the minister tell this House why his government continues to downgrade Canada's relationship with countries around the world? Is it because the government lacks a vision and an understanding about Canada's role in the international community, or is it because the government just does not care about how we are perceived internationally?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, without going back to the time of Sir John A., I could remind the member opposite that it was a Conservative government that inherited a $38 billion deficit.

It is interesting to get a history lesson from the member opposite, the member whose government was very much involved in the difficulties suffered by Mr. Arar and Mr. Sampson, so we take no lessons from the member opposite on consular cases or the closure of consular offices.

Benamer BenattaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Benamer Benatta, an Algerian national seeking refugee status, spent nearly five years in a prison in the United States after being handed over without cause following the events of September 11, 2001.

How can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration justify these actions, which look very much like racial profiling, on the part of the Canadian government?

Benamer BenattaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in 2001, under the Liberal regime, the man in question was deported to the United States. Now, he is asking for an appeal, and that is exactly what we are going to give him.

Benamer BenattaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though the FBI cleared him of all terrorist links three months after he was incarcerated, this man spent 58 months in prison for no reason, trapped in a maze of procedures that have been severely criticized by human rights defence organizations and a United Nations committee.

How can the government justify Canada's flagrant failure to comply with UN agreements on the rights of refugees?

Benamer BenattaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague said, it is true that three months after he arrived in the United States, he requested an appeal, but we were not the government at the time. I do not know why there was no appeal, but there will be one. We want to know why this happened.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

April 19th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the softwood lumber agreement, the Minister of International Trade has to reassure the forestry industry of Quebec because we have learned that the U.S. representative thinks that the Canadian softwood lumber industry is being subsidized.

Since the provinces had to consult the minister before implementing their programs, how can the minister explain that the United States is concerned that eight of the programs in Quebec went beyond what is allowed under the agreement?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the government is being asked about this agreement because it is a source of pride to us. Why are we proud? Because this is an agreement that meets the needs of the industry in Quebec and that also satisfies Quebec's unions.

More importantly, this agreement provides for negotiation and discussion between the governments. That is what we are doing in the interest of all Canadians.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the negotiations. At the time of the negotiations, did the Minister of International Trade provide guarantees to Quebec and the provinces that the existing programs were compliant with the agreement that he was about to sign with the U.S.?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that the agreement signed under the leadership of the Prime Minister was backed by Quebec.

The Government of Quebec is behind us, Quebeckers are behind us and the forestry industry is behind us. I do not understand the opposition and criticism from the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc Québécois seems to be bored in the House of Commons. One might wonder what its purpose is here.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is meeting with U.S. representatives today to discuss Canadian forestry policies. Once again the U.S. is challenging Canadian forestry programs, including those of Ontario and Quebec, under the softwood lumber agreement. This has other provinces with a strong lumber industry, such as British Columbia, worried.

When will the government stop bowing to U.S. interests and really stand up for Canada, as the Conservatives promised?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, it is this new government that is indeed standing up for the softwood lumber industry. If it were not for this government, we would not have a softwood lumber agreement that provides us an avenue to consult. We would be back in litigation. Is that what the Liberals would have us do, 20 more years of litigation?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is a joke. The government signed such a bad deal that not only did it leave $1 billion in the U.S., but today our softwood producers are actually paying more in export taxes under this deal than if the deal had never been signed. Now the U.S. lumber lobby wants these excessive taxes increased even more.

When will the government start making Canadian trade policy in Canada and for Canada, and not in Washington?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, indeed this is no joking matter. We are talking about the livelihoods of Canadian families. It is because of the decision taken by this government that those families are back at work, that the industry is stable, that we have an agreement that is good for seven to nine years, which is not what we had under a Liberal government.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, on April 4 Wade Locke, an economist with Memorial University, did a study which showed that Newfoundland and Labrador would gain over $5 billion in the new budget. However, a week later through an exchange of e-mails Mr. Locke discovered he was given wrong information by the finance minister's office. When he revised the numbers, it turned out Newfoundland and Labrador would actually lose money under the new formula.

Why did the Minister of Finance mislead the work of the independent economist whose goal was only to seek out the truth?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the proposal with respect to Newfoundland and Labrador is clear. There are two equalization programs.

One is the accord that was negotiated by the current premier of Newfoundland with the former Liberal government. That is the same today as it was six months ago, as it was a year ago, and it will be the same a year from now. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador can choose to go ahead with that agreement.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

That is not true.