This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigrants.

Topics

Human RightsOral 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, I am unfamiliar with the 16 or 17 year old video to which the hon. member has just referred. The comments do sound distressing and inappropriate and they will have due attention.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the current chair of the justice committee was the Reform Party's immigration critic, he said “there is a cost to be incurred by admitting tens of thousands of illiterate immigrants”. He then called them “a drain upon our social services who will lower the average skill of our workforce”.

Why is the government trying to sneak its empty immigration hidden agenda in through a budget bill? Is it trying to do today what it could not do as the Reform Party?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I really do not understand how the hon. member opposite can think that we are trying to sneak anything through when all day this issue is being debated in the House.

It will go through committee where it will get full discussion. The hon. member is welcome to participate in that discussion if her colleagues will let her.

Quite frankly, we are looking for an open, honest discussion on this but we need to do it quickly. Immigrants and industry cannot afford to wait while the opposition parties delay another bill, as they did our violent crime bills. We need to get this done and we need to get it done now.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the minister who does not understand immigration policy. The government sees immigrants as a liability and refugees as a security threat.

In their 2004 platform, the Conservatives put refugee issues under the heading, “Demand better security”. Why is the minister perpetuating this anti-immigrant stereotype with her latest power grab?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the real question is, why, once again, are the Liberals deliberately misrepresenting the facts to immigrants? Why are they the ones who are fearing and smearing when they cannot deal with policies? Because they have none.

I will quote from the Globe and Mail. It states:

—the Tories surely anticipated how their opponents would misrepresent their policies. That they are pressing on regardless shows a strong commitment to this country's interests.

We are getting the job done.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the justice committee is the same person who, while immigration critic, blamed newcomers in Toronto for increasing crime rates. He said, “Do you notice that in Toronto there has been increased crime from certain groups, like Jamaicans?”

Is it not true that the Conservative opinion of immigrants has not changed in 20 years and that their proposed immigration reforms prove it?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I find very curious these questions coming from members of a party whose predecessors introduced the Asian Exclusion Act, the continuous journey policy, the internment of Japanese Canadians, not to mention the War Measures Act.

The party that preceded the last Conservative government tripled Canada's immigration numbers to the highest ever in the late 1980s and early 1990s, levels which we have maintained. This government is delighted that since coming to office, we have welcomed nearly a million new people to Canada's borders.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, telling immigrants that they need not apply is not the solution to our immigration challenges.

When will the government admit it wants to change the rules so it can hand-pick which immigrants get into Canada? Why is it sneaking these reforms in through a budget bill, instead of allowing the House to have an independent debate on this critical issue?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, it is sneaking in a bill for full debate in full public light. What we are trying to do is fix the problem that the Liberals created through their wilful neglect.

That member should tell us why he voted to impose a $1,000 head tax on all newcomers to our country. He should tell us why he voted to cut immigrant settlement funding by hundreds of millions of dollars. He should tell us why he opposed an apology for the Chinese head tax. He should tell us why he is opposed to our efforts to finally do something about foreign credential recognition.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

April 3rd, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative environmental plan benefits the economy of western Canada at the expense of the Quebec economy. Opting for intensity-based GHG emission targets rather than absolute targets and choosing 2006 as the reference year instead of 1990 clearly demonstrate that the Conservatives have gone for the polluter-paid approach, because it will give oil companies that reduce the intensity of their emissions credits, but will give no credits for companies in Quebec that have already made efforts.

Will the Minister confirm that his environmental plan is expressly designed for the oil companies in western Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all. Everything my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie has said is false. Canada is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have a real plan to slow the increase in these emissions in all 10 provinces of Canada. For the first time in the history of Canada, the Montreal stock exchange has said that it is ready to open a carbon market. We are taking action.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the case of the aluminum industry in Quebec clearly illustrates this injustice. From 1990 to 2005, it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 13%. The Conservative plan wipes those efforts off the slate, because it counts only reductions made since 2006.

Will the Minister of the Environment recognize, as Christian Van Houtte of the aluminum producers’ association has done, that his plan penalizes companies that are already on the cutting edge of the technology and reward the ones that have made no effort?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our plan to regulate emissions gives credit for action that has already been taken. We are working closely with Alcan to make sure that its efforts are recognized in our regulations.

For the first time in the history of Canada, we have a real plan to reduce greenhouse gases. We are taking action and we are doing real work. In the 18 years since the Bloc first came here to the House of Commons, absolutely nothing has been done. We are taking action, and we are getting real results.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mohamed Kohail, the young Quebecker sentenced to death by decapitation in Saudi Arabia, was not given a real opportunity to appeal. His lawyer was threatened by judges and thrown out of the court room. The 23-year-old Kohail and his 17-year-old brother Sultan were placed in detention in January. Sultan could face the same sentence on Saturday.

What is the government waiting for to call in the Saudi Arabian Ambassador and demand that these two young Quebeckers be returned to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in all these cases the Government of Canada is providing consular services.

In the case of Ms. Morin, we have been in contact with her since 2003. Consular services have been provided.

In the case of Mr. Kohail, the ambassador met with his lawyers. We are working with his family and the lawyers to ensure that his rights are protected over there.

We will be doing everything we can to help these individuals.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very eager to hear the response to this question.

In yet another case, a young Quebecker, Nathalie Morin, age 23, is appealing to the government to help her get out of Saudi Arabia, where she and her two young boys are being held against her will, by her husband.

Does the federal government intend to demand that the Saudi ambassador to Canada intervene to allow this young woman to return home with her children?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, we are aware of this case. Consular officials have provided assistance and support to Ms. Morin and her family on numerous occasions since 2003.

Consular officials in Riyadh are currently working closely with relevant Saudi authorities to attempt to find a resolution to Ms. Morin's case.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on October 25, the industry minister made a major announcement on RADARSAT-2 where he boasted, “This satellite will help us vigorously protect our Arctic sovereignty”. The minister would not have said those words if MDA had told him that it was already in deep negotiations to sell the same satellite to the Americans.

How can the minister trust MDA and ATK's assurances today when they were hiding the truth from him last fall?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend knows full well that under the Investment Canada Act the review, for which I am responsible, requires the determination of net benefits to Canada. That will depend upon the discussions with the proponent. This analysis is currently under review. I cannot speak further about it, and my friend knows that. He knows full well the confidentiality requirements of the statute.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on December 14, the day the satellite was launched, the minister repeated, “This satellite will help us vigorously protect our Arctic sovereignty”. The very next business day MDA agreed to sell the satellite to the Americans.

Could the minister name one other country in the world that would invest $445 million to launch a satellite to protect its sovereignty and would then allow that same satellite to be sold to foreigners the very next day?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, my friend knows full well that initially under the Investment Canada Act the review needs to take place. I have extended the 30 day period for the review as of March 20.

In addition, as the Minister of Industry responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, I am responsible for the administration of the contracts between MDA and the Canadian Space Agency. I will ensure that the taxpayers of Canada receive exactly what they are entitled to receive.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the space industry provides high paying, high value added jobs across the country, the sort of jobs we should be fighting tooth and nail to keep in Canada. We know the American security regulations make it difficult for foreign companies to sell to NASA, yet some countries are able to have those requirements waived.

Why is the government not standing up for Canadian jobs and securing access for our businesses? Why is the government telling our industry that for it to succeed, it must trade in its passport and move to the south?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, my friend speaks, I think, of the ITAR. He knows full well that there are discussions about those. I can assure him that in the context of discussions, for example, with respect to the SPP, those kinds of issues are brought to the table and discussed.

We continue to work with our American neighbours to ensure we have a vibrant space industry and a vibrant aeronautics industry and that we are able to make these arrangements workable.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the minister mentioned the SPP because this issue is very important. It is not only about our jobs; it is about our sovereignty.

On February 6, the American buyer ATK had this to say about RADARSAT-2, “the key for us is to be able to move that technology, transfer that technology into the ATK U.S. space”. Canadians have invested $445 million to develop this technology. Now the Conservatives are giving it away.

We all remember all too well it was a Conservative government that sold out Canada's aerospace industry when it scrapped the Avro Arrow. Will the Conservative government repeat that same mistake and sell us out again?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will not comment on the specifics of the case that are before me under the Investment Canada Act. If my friend really believes that is the effect of the contracts between the Canadian Space Agency and MDA, I would invite him to boldly go where no Liberal has gone before, talk to the people who negotiated that contract, whom he sits with on that side of the House.