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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was english.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has been at her job long enough to know the problems in her department. Because of decades of cutbacks to offices abroad, we have thousands of applications that sit untouched, and there are no resources in the budget to fix this. Her solution? Make hasty changes by hiding a bad law in a bad budget.

Why do something that will only lead to arbitrary decisions about immigrants?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. In this budget and in the previous budget of 2007 we have provided additional funding to assist in addressing the very serious immigration backlog. We inherited close to a million from a backlog that was almost non-existent when the Liberals became government. Therefore, we have been investing.

The changes we are proposing are changes that are going to allow us to even better serve the people seeking to come to this country and allow them to make big contributions to the Canadian economy. People come to our country as a place of freedom, of hope, of opportunity where they can build strong futures and lives for their families, and that helps all Canadians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the law proposed by the government will break the hope of so many families that have come here because it is fundamentally arbitrary. When these families come here, they usually send mom or dad ahead. They find an apartment, they get a job, they get a bank account and then they turn around and try to reunite their family.

This law will prevent thousands of families from being reunited because the government will have arbitrary power. It will simply say, “You're here now, but it turns out your family is from the wrong country. You've got a disabled kid. We don't like your family. You can't be reunited”.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the NDP likes to pretend it is a great fan of immigrants. In reality, the record shows otherwise.

Every time we have made a change to make it easier for people to come to this country, to contribute to our economy and enjoy the freedom, hope and opportunity that we have, whether it is cutting the tax that immigrants had to pay under the Liberals, whether it is adding $1.3 billion for new settlement funding, whether it is setting up a foreign credentials reference office, all those things we have been doing and the additional resources to cut the backlog, the NDP votes against every one. Those members talk the words, but they do not vote consistent with those values. We do.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Yesterday, the minister said that the government could wait until next year for our NATO allies to commit additional troops for our mission in Kandahar.

Will the government set a specific date by which the conditions must be met so that Canada continues its mission in Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. new colleague for his question.

It is clear in the Manley report that we have until February 2009 to have an additional 1,000 soldiers on the ground, in theatres in Afghanistan, to help us have a mission that can achieve its objectives.

As I have said recently, I am confident and optimistic that we will be able to achieve that objective. The Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister have worked very hard to make sure we have the troops.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the House worked very cooperatively to get to a resolution that could be passed by a majority of the House. We have a non-partisan mission, but we do not have a non-partisan approach to solving this problem.

Why can the minister not produce for us, now, a clear indication of the timetable that will be followed and a transparent sense of the accountability toward the House that will be followed, so the conditions of this mission and the conditions of the resolution can be met by the government?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our intention is to abide by the resolution adopted by this House. We are very happy to have the support of the opposition for our mission in Afghanistan. The resolution calls on the government to have clear objectives and to report regularly to the House. We will report regularly to the House about the objectives and the status of our mission in Afghanistan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, a key recommendation adopted by Parliament on the mission in Afghanistan was for the government to increase transparency to all Canadians. The House passed a motion requiring that transparency.

The Prime Minister says that this is a Canadian mission and a Canadian motion. Why is he leading a partisan delegation to Bucharest?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud to be in Bucharest with all our allies to talk about Afghanistan and make sure it remains a priority for NATO. I am optimistic that by the end of this meeting, we will have achieved what we set out to do. We are there with a strong mandate that the opposition and Parliament have given us, and we will respect that mandate.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the resolution passed by the House was clear. It is incumbent on the government to provide Canadians with increased accountability and transparency about our mission in Afghanistan. This is not a partisan mission; this is a Canadian mission.

Why are Conservative viewpoints only welcome in Bucharest?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yes, our mission in Afghanistan is a Canadian mission, thanks to the support of the opposition, and I am very happy about that. This mission is taking place under the leadership of the Prime Minister. We are currently in Bucharest to make sure this mission can continue until 2011, according to the conditions set out in the resolution of the House.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few years ago, the Government of Quebec declared, and I quote, “Quebec cannot let others control programming for electronic media within its borders...To that end, Quebec must have full jurisdiction and be able to deal with a single regulatory body.”

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage, a member of the government that recognizes the nation of Quebec, respect the will of Quebec?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, most definitely, the special Bloc caucus before Easter brought new issues to the table. As is customary, the federal government will exercise its authority in federal jurisdictions.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the minister that this statement was made by the Minister of Transport when he was the Liberal Minister of Communications in Quebec. If this was true when the Minister of Transportation was a member of the National Assembly, it is even more so with the development of new technologies and it is even more important to act now.

Does this not prove that the government refuses to move from words to deeds in the case of the nation of Quebec?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, given that we are going back in time to the early 1990s, allow me to remind the member that the Bloc said it would only be here for one term. We are still waiting for it to decide to leave.

Seal HuntersOral Questions

April 1st, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in light of new, very concerning statements, such as the ones made by Wayne Dickson, the captain who rescued the two survivors, there needs to be a real public inquiry. According to him, he corroborates the statements of other witnesses, including Mr. Bourque, the son of the captain of L'Acadien II who died in the accident, the Canadian Coast Guard was negligent when it was towing the boat.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans order that a real public inquiry be held, as the people of the Magdalen Islands are calling for?

Seal HuntersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member, as do all of us here, feels for the families and communities involved. Those of us who come from fishing communities in particular know the effect of something like this on the whole community and the whole area.

I assure the member that all the facts will come out. Three studies have been initiated, supported by the Government of Quebec and by the local area. The truth of whatever happened will come out and all the bits and pieces we hear will be put together to ensure this puzzle is completely solved for the families, as it should.

Seal HuntersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Dickson, who was following L'Acadien II and the icebreaker, said that he noticed that some of the Canadian Coast Guard's actions were unusual. He also tried to contact the crew of the icebreaker when a piece of ice hampered the towing efforts, but no one responded to the call. Mr. Dickson believes that the drowning of four Magdalen Islands residents could have been avoided.

How can anyone argue against a public inquiry? Will the minister call for a real public inquiry?

Seal HuntersOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, all of us have heard the statements that have been made. We are going to hear many of those. There are many views that will be expressed. That is why we have put a mechanism in place to ensure that all the information is collected, and proper decisions will be made at that time.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have yet to answer a simple question about the Cadman affair. What was the Prime Minister referring to when he spoke about an offer made to Mr. Cadman pertaining to financial considerations in the event of an election?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, I believe I have answered this question more than once, but way less than 5,000 times, but I will go ahead anyway.

The only offer made to Mr. Cadman was the one discussed several times in this House, which is also the only offer that Mr. Cadman himself spoke about, that is to rejoin our party, to run as a Conservative candidate and to be re-elected as a Conservative member.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is right. He has answered it with several different stories. First, there was no offer, then no offer of a loan, then no offer to rejoin caucus, then no offer for a nomination, then no offer for financial assistance, then no offer became a three part offer.

The problem is that tape wherein the Prime Minister talks about replacing financial considerations. Conservatives admit it was his voice, that those are his words. Why will he not simply explain what he had in mind when he talked about financial considerations?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, people in glass houses are throwing stones in question period. Let us look at what we have.

The Liberals have been changing their story on this. First, the Liberals said that there was a meeting on May 17; they were wrong. The Liberals said that Chuck Cadman was not going to run again; they were wrong. The Liberals said that we offered Chuck Cadman a $1 million life insurance policy; they were wrong. The Liberals asserted that somehow I was personally involved in organizing a meeting; they were wrong.

We have been clear, consistent and honest with the facts. It has been very easy. All we have done is taken the words of Chuck Cadman and amplified them in the House of Commons. Chuck Cadman said that there was no financial offer. He spoke the truth. The Liberals should accept it.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear from public evidence that the RCMP's actions in the income trust matter had an impact on the 2006 election.

The fact is the RCMP had no established guidelines for public communications regarding criminal investigations. The complaints commissioner Kennedy recommends that such guidelines be established.

Could the public safety minister tell the House what steps he will take to ensure that the RCMP establishes appropriate guidelines on such matters?