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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I stated, Mr. Khadr faces serious charges. At the current time, the case is going on, the legal process is on and appeals are on, but from Canada's point of view, we will continue visiting Mr. Khadr to see to his well-being. I can assure members that we have asked the U.S. to treat him humanely.

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, the Standing Committee on Finance adopted a report calling on the government to provide additional assistance to the manufacturing and forestry sectors out of the current year's $10.2 billion surplus.

The crises in the manufacturing and forestry industries are threatening thousands of jobs in the regions of Quebec. Will the minister comply with the wishes of Parliament and forget about putting all that money toward the debt, so that he can improve the assistance plan before March 31?

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry has made it clear on numerous occasions that the government has given literally billions of dollars in assistance to the manufacturing sector in terms of tax breaks and in terms of direct funds in money to assist this sector.

It is never enough for the member opposite. I do not understand why he thinks the manufacturing sector is not able to make use of the substantial assistance this government has provided. He needs to have a little more faith in--

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, he has no compassion for people who have lost their jobs.

The International Monetary Fund encourages member countries to increase public spending to stimulate growth, which is threatened by a significant global economic slowdown. According to the Institute for Policy Analysis, Quebec and Ontario may already be in the grip of a recession.

Will the minister finally open his eyes and help the sectors affected by this crisis by using part of the $10.2 billion surplus before March 31? He has plenty of time, and he certainly has plenty of money.

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I might add to the previous answer given in the House that Quebec alone received $400 million in equalization payments. That is what this government put together as a start. There was a system in the country that was not equal. That is where we started.

We have included tax cuts, with $10 billion in tax relief for industries. We have put forward a $1 billion community development trust fund to help those people impacted in one-industry towns.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is so desperate to close the door on immigrants that it will ignore the painful mistakes of previous Conservative governments that tried to do the very same thing. Diefenbaker tried to shut out immigrants by capping the system only to abandon his plan a month later because his policies were short-sighted and misguided.

Why does the minister insist on closing Canada's doors to the newcomers we desperately need to fuel our labour and population growth even though history shows this is absolutely the wrong approach?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is absolutely wrong. In fact, last year this Conservative government welcomed more immigrants to Canada than has been done in almost 100 years.

Not only are we doing more, we are doing it better. In the family reunification class we have made that a priority and now cases are getting processed 20% to 40% faster than they did under the previous government. We are making great strides in cleaning up the Liberals' immigration mess.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Some progress, Mr. Speaker. The backlog has increased by 100,000 in 26 months. I would ask the minister to get to work and not by closing the doors on immigrants.

Let us be clear. The Conservatives say that Canada has received 429,000 newcomers, but that number has been falsely inflated by temporary workers and students.

Why is the government trying to distract people from its plan to significantly reduce the number of newcomers by fudging the numbers and tooting its own horn about its pathetic record on immigration?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, our government has two objectives. The first is to bring more newcomers here to fill jobs and be reunited with their families. The second is to do it faster.

Let us contrast that with the Liberals' record on immigration. They ballooned the backlog from 50,000 to 800,000. They took processing times from three to six months to three to six years. They voted against reducing the head tax that they brought in. They voted against launching the foreign credentials referral office. We are fixing the Liberals' immigration mess.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday every government member voted to rebalance our mission in Afghanistan. A new report by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation clearly shows that peace efforts in Afghanistan are in disarray and they are not supported by the international community. It calls on Canada to rebalance its mission which is crucial to the mission's success.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. What specific plan is his government going to offer to achieve the tribal reconciliation that is absolutely crucial for the success of our mission in Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the government has been moving in the direction for some time in order to put greater emphasis on the training component and greater emphasis on cultural sensitivity around the issues that relate to interaction with the people of Afghanistan.

We, of course, have committed over $1 billion, most recently $100 million in this budget specifically for issues around infrastructure, investment, and programs, so that more kids can be in school, more women can access microcredit financing, and more effort can be made to develop the situation in Afghanistan so the people themselves can do more for themselves in their country.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is important how much we spend, but it is more important that we spend that money effectively. The Liberal plan offers that peace will only occur in Afghanistan if the people can provide for their own security.

I would like to ask the minister this question. Will he support our plan that his government take to Bucharest a very specific position for NATO to set timelines and hard targets for the Afghan people to have their own police, army, corrections and judicial personnel that are properly paid, trained and equipped? These four pillars for Afghanistan security are--

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, that is again, of course, exactly what Canada and NATO are doing. As usual, we are seeing an after the fact recitation from the hon. member about what he would like to see happen.

He and his party supported the vote last night to extend the mission. We thank him for that support. It is now a Canadian position that was endorsed by the Parliament of Canada. This is good news for the soldiers, aid workers and diplomats who are doing this important work on behalf of our country.

It is something that should be a source of pride for all Canadians. Aside from the partisanship, this is something that Canada in the future will look back upon as a tremendous historic vote of confidence in our soldiers.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

March 14th, 2008 / 11:45 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday retired Justice John Gomery appeared at the government operations committee and spoke on ethics and accountability.

It has come to light that two former employees of the Liberal Party, with links to the sponsorship scandal, were hired to work on Bob Rae's leadership campaign. I wonder if they are working on his campaign right now in Toronto Centre.

After Canadians fired the Liberals for their lack of ethics, our government was elected on our promise to clean up government.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board tell the House what measures we have taken to bring back accountability?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Judge Gomery indicated that he still has not found the $40 million in missing Liberal dollars.

He also pointed back to his report which said that a Mr. Gaetano Manganiello was part of the sponsorship scandal in accepting part of the $82,000 that was paid to Pluri Design, a company for which he did not actually work.

This individual is now part of the Bob Rae team and helped him in his leadership campaign, which means that Bob Rae, who wrote the Liberal election platform, is the worst part of the NDP free spending and Liberal scandal. Bad hybrid.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not yet a foregone conclusion that Canada will be at war in Afghanistan for another three years. For the extension to come into effect, NATO needs to come up with an additional 1,000 soldiers and the deployment of medium and heavy lift capacity. To date no official announcements have been made on additional troops committed to the war or planned procurement of airlift capacity.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs clarify today that if these conditions are not met, Canada will not extend its combat mission in Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member, no, I cannot thank the member for his support for the motion last night.

Last night the Parliament of Canada took the position that Canada would continue in Afghanistan. We would continue a whole of government approach which does include, of course, giving our men and women in uniform the necessary equipment to carry out this mission, to execute the security perimeter that will allow for greater development, and greater efforts at the humanitarian relief that is taking place in that war-torn country.

Canada should be very proud of that effort. We are looking forward, with the support of the Liberal Party, to seeing this mission continue and that the resources are--

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my conscience is clear. I do not know about the members on the other side.

The Manley report spoke very critically about the lack of coordination of combat operations in Kandahar, and from all accounts the situation will likely only get worse, not better.

If the only NATO ally coming forward with additional troops is the United States, can the government explain whether the marines will come under the command of NATO or the command of Operation Enduring Freedom? If they do fall under a separate command, how is having two parallel combat missions in the same place, at the same time, going to help rectify the coordination problems that exist?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I see the member has been reading his latest copy of Esprit de Corps magazine. I know he is a subscriber to that and he is up-to-date on some of the latest tactical manoeuvres happening in Afghanistan.

This is an ISAF mission. It has the United Nations Security Council resolution. It is a NATO-led mission. Efforts are being made that will help to eradicate one of the worst exporters of terrorism that the world has ever seen.

The member opposite would suggest that we could send a combat unit of mimes to Afghanistan. We would withdraw all the soldiers and then we would have to withdraw all the aid workers as well.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this most unaccountable government: the environment minister is implicated in the Larry O'Brien bribery case while doing more damage than good to the environment; the health minister ignores his promise on hospital wait times; the finance minister undermines Ontario's economy by calling it “the last place to invest”; and the government House leader insults his province's premier.

Why is the Prime Minister sitting back and allowing his gang of four to wreak havoc on this country the way they did on Ontario when they were at Queen's Park?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, there was one thing that we did learn from that time and that was the importance of doing exactly what we said we would do, and that is what this government is doing.

We are delivering on our commitments with the toughest accountability act ever in Canadian history. We promised it. We did it. We committed to reduce taxes, reduce the GST and reduce personal income taxes. We said it. We did it. We delivered it. We said we would take action on the environment. We said it. We did it. We delivered it. It is the same thing with tackling violent crime. We said it. We did it. We delivered it.

The only thing that stood in our way was--

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

The Liberals.