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House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was peoples.

Topics

Human RightsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises a whole range of public policy issues that it may or may not be appropriate to get into at some point. One issue he raised, for instance, was the organ issue. This is a decision not taken by the political wing of the government but taken by those who have regulatory responsibility.

This government, at all times, promotes and supports tolerance among Canadians of all kinds and we will continue to do so.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

April 7th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Liberal Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced a reform package, she stated that it would help eliminate the backlog. The reality is that the new rules will only apply to applications received on or after February 27, which means they do not directly apply to the backlog.

How could the minister introduce such incredibly flawed legislation that fails to deliver on its original intent and is guaranteed to fail?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we are tackling the backlog and we will get it done because we are putting more resources into it: $22 million over the new two years and then $37 million a year after that. We are also going to do things better and smarter so that we can process each application faster, get rid of the backlog and achieve our goal of getting more immigrants here and getting them here sooner.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Liberal Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the discriminatory reform of the immigration system gives the minister the exclusive power to choose who can enter Canada. The new rules do not directly apply to the backlog.

Could the minister explain how she will use her full powers to determine who will appear on the first list, who will appear on the second list, and who will have the door slammed in their face?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are just fearmongering.

Let me be clear. Instructions issued will set priorities for categories of applicants to be processed, in which only the categories should be done, not individuals. All the instructions will, of course, comply with the charter because that is the law. The minister will not be given any rights under these amendments to pick and choose individuals, to cherry-pick. The minister will deal with categories and will not be allowed to override immigration officers.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend in Montreal, I confirmed with a number of immigration lawyers who feel that Canada is about to make a serious mistake in rushing so quickly through the immigration bill. They need time to consider all the ramifications.

We send our soldiers to Afghanistan to fight, in part, to keep Afghan families together. Would the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration be willing to take the time necessary in this House to consider the serious implications of these changes and ensure that we practise at home what we paid such a dear price for overseas?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, last week we spent an entire day discussing these amendments. The debates will come forward this week. It will be going to committee. The finance committee will be hearing from stakeholders on every aspect of this bill. We will be consulting with the provinces, territories and stakeholders before any instructions are issued.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, six months ago in this House members, including the immigration minister, rose and applauded the arrival of my two children from Darfur, and I appreciated it from everyone here. If this law were to go through, thousands of families like mine might never experience the joy of such a moment.

My children are in Ottawa today and for the sake of many like them, will the minister pull these proposals out of the larger bill and let it be debated fully in this House? There is too much at stake here in Canada. It is who we are. Let these families come, minister. Let them come.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, where was that member when we were trying to protect the children of this nation between the ages of 14 and 16 by raising the age of protection? We are working for families. We have already improved the processing times for family reunification by up to 40%. We want to get families reunited faster and more skilled workers here sooner, after the Liberals did nothing for 13 years except balloon the backlog.

TransportOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, as was I, and he saw that residents are calling for a public inquiry on the circumstances surrounding the sinking of L'Acadien II while it was being towed by the Coast Guard.

It should not be too complicated for the minister to launch an inquiry, since the Transportation Safety Board already has the power to hold public inquiries.

Will the minister commit to holding a public inquiry on the circumstances surrounding the sinking of L'Acadien II?

TransportOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that there are three inquiries that have already started, one by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one by the Coast Guard with an independent lead and we announced the name of the leader. Every avenue, every factor that resulted in the accident will be explored and then a comprehensive, thorough study will be carried out by the Department of Transport.

The Quebec government, the local area, everybody accepts that. Let the committees get on with their work.

TransportOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, this question is more for the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Although the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committed to shedding light on what happened at sea, he did not specify whether the inquiry by the Transportation Safety Board would be public.

Will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities take action and immediately confirm whether a public inquiry on the L'Acadien II tragedy will be launched as soon as possible?

TransportOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows and I will say again, that thorough investigations are under way. It would do the member well, if he wants to represent his people properly, to let the committees get on with their work so that the truth of whatever happened comes out. We will assure him and assure the people that whatever happened in relation to this accident will not only be brought forward but it will be made public.

Heritage BuildingsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that destroyed the Quebec City armoury, Quebec's premier, Jean Charest, the mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, Parti Québécois member Agnès Maltais, the minister responsible for the Quebec City region, Philippe Couillard, and my Bloc Québécois colleague, the hon. member for Québec, are all appealing to the federal government to take immediate steps to rebuild the armoury.

Knowing that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages wants to wait for the investigation to be completed and that the Prime Minister just told us he will explore any means, I will put my question to the Minister of National Defence. Can he immediately commit to rebuilding the Quebec City armoury?

Heritage BuildingsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister indicated that it was a historic monument. However, it is also important to piece together the string of events that led to this tragic fire. The Prime Minister also indicated that we are prepared to explore every means to proceed with the reconstruction of this heritage building.

Heritage BuildingsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, its reconstruction will take time. In the meantime, Quebec City will be celebrating its 400th anniversary.

Can the government tell us what it plans to do to protect the armoury site in the context of the 400th anniversary celebrations?

Heritage BuildingsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is only natural that in the context of any action following such a explosion, the municipalities have regulations in place. I understand that Quebec City also has regulations in place. The Canadian government will of course comply with Quebec City's regulations and, specifically, regulations concerning the protection of the public in the immediate area of the explosion.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, U.S. law applies to satellites operated by Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. companies and the satellite images belong “exclusively to the U.S. government” for reasons of “national security or foreign policy concerns”.

Does the foreign affairs minister realize that if this sale goes through, the RADARSAT-2 satellite developed by Canadians with Canadian tax dollars can be used by the Americans against Canada's claim to the Northwest Passage?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member wants to do some fearmongering here. The fact of the matter is that this proposed sale is being investigated, is being analyzed by the Minister of Industry. He has made it extremely clear that his final decision on this sale will be made in the best interest of our country. I wish the member would just accept that.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians would accept that if the foreign affairs minister would actually take his responsibilities seriously.

In fact, last week we introduced the foreign affairs minister to Canada's Remote Sensing Space Systems Act, an act for which he himself is responsible. Under this act, the minister must “have regard to national security” in exercising his authority over RADARSAT-2.

Now that we have made the foreign affairs minister aware of his own law, will the minister use his authority to block the transfer of RADARSAT-2 to the Americans?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows full well, the question is premature. The sale of MDA is being reviewed by the Minister of Industry under the Investment Canada Act.

In my role as foreign affairs minister, I will act with one guiding priority. It is very simple. I will act keeping in mind the protection of Canadian sovereignty.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when there is a threat of a major company being sold to foreign interests, the workers at that company start to worry. In the case of the sale of MDA, the Conservatives seem to have no concern whatsoever about the workers and their families.

Can the minister assure the workers at MDA that they will not lose their jobs if the company is bought by American interests?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a statutory duty to review all aspects of this proposed sale. The issues that the member raises are part of this analysis. It must be done in a confidential manner. The minister has made it very clear that he will be making a decision later on this month and the member will just have to wait for that.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this government's inaction in the possible sale of MDA is quite striking. It is clear that the Conservatives do not know how to protect our space industry of which we are so proud.

Will the minister finally stand up and defend Canada's aerospace industry or will he give in to the Americans, as he did with the ITAR rules?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I am curious as to how the hon. member is so clear about things when no decision has been made.

Perhaps the hon. member would just wait for the process to work, for the decision to be made, and for the decision to be announced. Then I am sure she will have lots of attacks to make because that is the best thing she can do. She can criticize, complain and carp, but maybe she should wait until there is something to complain about.