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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

TibetOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

As the saying goes, Mr. Speaker, I misspoke myself.

Only yesterday, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urged the government of the People's Republic of China to avoid further violence and to find a solution through dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

Could the foreign affairs minister say whether the Canadian government's policy on Tibet is similar to the one expressed yesterday by Prime Minister Rudd?

TibetOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. As we know, the situation in Quebec has been very good since Quebeckers elected a Conservative government.

However, we have very huge concerns for human rights in Tibet and China. That is why we continue to urge the Chinese government to engage in a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, to fully respect human rights, to respect peaceful protests, and to show restraint in dealing with the situation in Tibet.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Immigration is so worried about the damaging, offensive and sweeping changes. I am astounded that she will not tell the truth. No, the charter will not apply to those who are trying to come into Canada. No, humanitarian or compassionate grounds will not apply to those who are outside of Canada, and no, families will not be able to come to Canada faster and easier.

Will the minister drop her half-truths and really fix the immigration system?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the level of fearmongering from the NDP today is absolutely off the scale. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that the instructions we will be issuing to help bring more people here to fill the jobs, to be reunited with their families, and to get it done sooner will of course be charter compliant.

They will be done after consultations with the provinces, the territories and other key stakeholders. They will be approved by cabinet. They will be published and the results of our efforts will be published. Why do those members not want to help us get the backlog down from 10 years?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister should stop giving herself sweeping powers to end run the existing system.

She said that the system was crumbling. She is trying to destroy it. We have seen this kind of discretionary power turn into discrimination, and I wonder whether my family will be able to come into this country if her immigration policies pass this House.

These changes are cold, callous and damaging. Will the minister change and fix the immigration system properly instead of crumbling and killing the entire system?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have to point out that every single effort that we put forward to help immigrants has been voted down by that very New Democratic Party.

In spite of the NDP, we are going to get more people here faster to fill the jobs and to be reunited with their families. We are going to put priorities on those who are in categories of occupations that are needed in our workforce, to keep business in business. We are not going to apologize for cleaning up the Liberal mess.

AirbusOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want answers from this government on the upcoming Mulroney inquiry, not more bafflegab. Will the government commit here and now that it will be a full public inquiry, with full powers, under part I of the Inquiries Act?

AirbusOral Questions

2:55 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, Professor Johnston has recommended terms of reference to the commissioner that will be appointed soon to conduct that public inquiry. It will be a public inquiry.

I am surprised that this Liberal is unhappy because there is another one, the member for Mississauga South, who said that he was pleased with Professor Johnston's recommendations in the report.

AirbusOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, as parliamentarians, we are not addressing any questions to Professor Johnston, but rather to the Prime Minister. He is responsible for launching an inquiry and he promised a public inquiry. The fundamental nature of a public inquiry means that testimony is given publicly, Canadians can watch and listen to it, and everyone who should appear does appear, including Fred Doucet and everyone close to Mr. Mulroney.

We understand why the Prime Minister said that Mr. Mulroney was appreciated as a mentor and advisor, and that he found it awkward to get to the bottom of all this concerning Mr. Mulroney and those close to him. We—

AirbusOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

AirbusOral Questions

2:55 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, we have said that we will act on the recommendations made by Professor Johnston on the public inquiry and that is exactly what we intend to do.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, NAFTA-gate was a serious breach of government security which damaged our international reputation and implicates the Prime Minister's inner circle. Yet the government secretly outsourced the investigation to a private company.

Why did the government choose BMCI Investigations? What is its mandate and will all its findings be made available to the public?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:55 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, as we have said many times, this is a serious matter. The Clerk of the Privy Council was asked to investigate the matter. He is using the resources that he believes are necessary to answer the question, because the issue of our relations with the United States is very important.

I understand the hon. member shares that concern that we have positive relations with the United States, that NAFTA is an important agreement, that it has yielded tremendous benefits for Canada as well as for our partners in NAFTA. We want to ensure that nothing is done that hurts that relationship because we want to keep it strong.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is another example of how the government has misled Canadians about accountability and transparency.

The Prime Minister has had five weeks to investigate the NAFTA-gate leaks. The Prime Minister even told this House that Kevin Lynch would conduct the investigation. We now find out that it has been secretly outsourced.

Every time the government makes a mistake, it either covers it up or refuses to answer the questions.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Can he stop dragging his feet and tell this House when he will make this report available to the public?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:55 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 quite sure the hon. member would not want to see the report released before it is completed. The investigation is ongoing and surely I expect he wants to see it have time to finish.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the rules governing the labelling of agricultural products are absurd. To determine the origin of a product, the rules take into account the processing and packaging costs, which, in terms of agri-food, makes no sense. Thus, it is possible to buy olives at the grocery store marked “product of Canada”.

Will the minister admit that the current rules governing the labelling of food products are misleading to consumers and deprive farmers of some share of the market?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I would agree with the genesis of the question. We are moving on that file. We will get things done. We have begun the process for the consultations with industry. A product of Canada, of course, is a product of Canada. Made in Canada covers the lump of products that are brought in here, remanufactured, repackaged and sometimes exported back out. We are very cognizant of what industry is looking to be done in this area and we are moving ahead on the file.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, at this time, farmers and consumers are being deceived by food product labelling rules. A UPA study shows that 70% of people believe that products labelled “product of Canada” are grown and processed here, but that is not always the case.

Will the minister promise to help the agricultural industry remain competitive by quickly revising the labelling rules to ensure that only agricultural products that are really produced here can be labelled “product of Canada”?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, of course we intend to move quickly, but it certainly would be a lot easier if we did not have the Bloc voting against our throne speech where this was highlighted, if we did not have the Bloc voting against our budgets where $113 million was allocated. If the Bloc members were really serious about this, they would get onside with our program and support it moving ahead.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is ordering the chair of the justice committee to violate the rules of Parliament and refuse to have a vote. The Conservatives who phonily wrap themselves in accountability would rather shut down the committee than be forced to explain what the Prime Minister meant when he referred to “financial considerations” with respect to their offer to Mr. Cadman.

Why are the Conservatives so afraid of that question?

EthicsOral Questions

3 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, of course, we are not afraid of the question. We have answered it a number of times in the past month here in the House of Commons. As a matter of fact, when we reflect on the kind of language that we are seeing from the Liberal Party, we have to think that the outrage from the Liberals on this is maybe a little synthetic.

The fact is over the past couple of years, as I said yesterday, the Liberals either through abstentions or ineffectiveness helped us pass three budgets, two extensions to the Afghan mission, our crime package, our environment plans, and probably tonight in a confidence vote we are going to be able to pass our immigration reforms or be on our way to doing it.

I would like to thank my colleague from Beauséjour on behalf of my constituents for sitting down so we can stand up for Canadians.

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced our new measures to restore Canada's trust in the safety of the goods and products they buy and use. Part of this announcement proposed a new life cycle approach to the regulation of pharmaceutical drugs, which will, for the first time, ensure drugs are monitored constantly as they enter and remain in the health care system.

Could the Minister of Health please update the House on this new approach to pharmaceutical regulation and explain to Canadians how this new system ensures their safety?

Drugs and PharmaceuticalsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the announcement yesterday and the legislation that is before the House has the same stringent standards for licensing of drug products as was there before and, in fact, we have expanded it by allowing the minister the opportunity to attach conditions post-market to those products as well.

This is what the life cycle approach is all about. It will be additional health and safety for Canadians. That is why we encourage members to back this legislation.

Community Volunteer Income Tax ProgramOral Questions

April 9th, 2008 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, federal government agencies, like the Canada Revenue Agency, are reducing services in our communities.

In the past, CRA has arranged for volunteers to help low income constituents with income tax returns. These clinics were in places like community centres and libraries. In the past two years, I have hosted CRA clinics in my constituency office. This year, we helped more than 100 people, many of them seniors.

Volunteers have now been told that CRA no longer can facilitate these clinics. Volunteers are on their own. Why is CRA undermining this service?

Community Volunteer Income Tax ProgramOral Questions

3 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is anything but. CRA sponsors over 25,000 volunteers to help people of low income and seniors fill out their tax returns. In fact, I was in Almonte a week or two ago, where one of the seminars was held with CRA support. CRA is supporting these all through the country.