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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was income.

Topics

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure my colleague: Canada Post will remain a crown corporation, and we have no intention of privatizing it.

The purpose of the independent review will be to ensure that Canada Post has the tools it needs not only to fulfill its obligations in the coming years, but also to adjust to changes in the communications sector, particularly with respect to the Internet and other information sources—to figure out how to adapt.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is well aware that deregulation will have a direct impact on universality. That is unavoidable. There will be job losses, the price of stamps will rise dramatically, and service quality in rural areas will differ significantly from that in larger centres.

At the Empire Club in Toronto, Canada Post's president could not say enough about the merits of deregulation, so how are we supposed to believe the minister when he says that the crown corporation will not be privatized and will remain a crown corporation?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Because, Mr. Speaker, we have just given our word on that right here in this House.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister's judgment and actions on several issues have created the perception that he has an ethical blind spot. Now we learn that a private institution, in which he has a direct financial interest, may benefit from a targeted tax decision made by the minister.

To avoid any appearance of conflict, did the minister recuse himself from this decision? Did he consult the Ethics Commissioner specifically on this decision before the decision was made?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 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, this is another baseless smear and character assassination by a Liberal Party that has no other play in its play book.

The commitment to make scholarships tax free was a commitment that we made in the last election and it is, as are all the commitments we make, one we delivered upon.

The school for the developmentally disabled that the Minister of Finance supports does not give scholarships.

It is a wholly manufactured issue by the Liberals. They do not care that it does not give scholarships. They do not care because they have a chance to try to smear a Tory. It does not matter. They are happy to take--

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Kings--Hants.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner writes a letter to every member of Parliament. The letter clearly states:

...should there be any matters before the House...that may potentially conflict with your private interests...you consult with my Office in order that we may advise you of what measures...may be required...to satisfy the requirements of the Code.

Did the minister respect the rules clearly stated by the Ethics Commissioner and consult her on his decision?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 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, of course he respected the rules. The accusation is ridiculous. He lent money to a school for the disabled. It does not give scholarships.

However, that does not stop the Liberals from trying to score a hit and hurt the disabled and hurt students.

Why is it that the Liberals are willing to attack a program that is giving funding to the disabled and scholarships to help disabled students? It is because they think they can get a good quick political hit. It is shameful what that Liberal Party will do.

ImmigrationOral Questions

May 2nd, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has been brought to my attention that there are a number of applicants for permanent residence for humanitarian reasons who have been assigned the same case officer for their file assessment as for their pre-removal risk assessment. Department of Citizenship and Immigration officials have told me that this is standard procedure.

Can the minister tell us if these are in fact her department's instructions?

ImmigrationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want an immigration system that supports and helps genuine, legitimate immigrants. That is what we are trying to do. Every application is assessed based on its unique circumstances and under fair conditions.

ImmigrationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, an officer who must make a decision based on humanitarian grounds must do so by looking at all the evidence and without prejudice. However, if the officer has already rendered an unfavourable decision during the risk assessment, he or she obviously cannot be, or appear to be, an impartial decision maker in that case.

Does the minister intend to issue the necessary directives to put an end to such situations, which would never be tolerated if they were applied to Canadian citizens?

ImmigrationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, our department has more than 4,000 people working around the globe. We always try to ensure justice and fairness.

We try to have checks and balances to ensure every application gets the attention it deserves in a fair and just manner.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Omar Khadr's military lawyer told the Subcommittee on International Human Rights that all western countries had successfully negotiated the repatriation of their nationals and that Great Britain had promised to lay charges, on condition that they were warranted under British law. No one in Great Britain has been tried.

Should the government not follow Great Britain's example and request Omar Khadr's repatriation so that he can receive a fair and just trial?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr faces some serious charges. The Government of Canada has sought and received assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely. Department officials have carried out several welfare visits with Mr. Khadr and we will continue to do so.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister often tells us that he is closely monitoring Mr. Khadr's trial in the United States. But according to Mr. Khadr's military lawyer, the commissions were set up in Cuba precisely because they would not be allowed in the United States.

Does the minister realize that by refusing to act to repatriate Mr. Khadr, he is complicit with the Bush administration in violating the rule of law?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I stated, Mr. Khadr faces serious charges. We will continue providing cultural assistance where we can, but any questions on whether Canada plans to ask for the release of Mr. Omar Khadr from Guantanamo are premature and speculative as the legal process and appeals are going on.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the international scientific community slammed the Conservative government for a serious breach of international scientific standards and political interference in Vancouver's safe injection site's research calling it a “political horror story”.

Australia's Dr. Wodak said that it "ignored science, due process, and public opinion while also risking harm to the country's international standing”.

Ideology over evidence harms people and the government does not care. How can the Minister of Health defend his irresponsible actions?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, the allegation is obviously false.

I would like to draw to the member's attention a statement made by the chair of the independent expert advisory panel. It says that the version of the report concerning the estimated number of HIV cases that may have been prevented was in error from the earlier draft and was deleted and amended at the request of the chair of the AEC after consultation with the other committee members.

I wish the member would get the facts straight.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister ignored 22 reports proving the effectiveness of Insite. He refused to commit support. He is running out of excuses for leaving Canada's harm reduction programs in the lurch.

This is a severe indictment on Canada's international reputation and blatant disregard for the health and safety of its citizens.

When will the minister finally acknowledge the scientific evidence on Insite and remove his research moratorium so other communities can benefit from the proven strategy?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the minister did extend the exemption for the Insite program until June 30 in order to gather more scientific information.

It would be more helpful if the opposition party would support our programs for helping victims and for stopping drug pushers and other people who prey on the most vulnerable. It should help support government policies rather than just fearmonger and do nothing.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no scientific evidence to support the minister's opposition to the Insite program. In fact, the government offered money for additional research but only if the investigators would not release the evidence until after the exemption for the Insite program expired.

Dr. Evan Wood, with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, has called this, “muzzling researchers”. The University of British Columbia has called the minister's conditions “ethically unacceptable”.

When will the minister stop embarrassing Canada and choose evidence over his ideology?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, again the member is ill-informed. The minister has extended the exemption on two occasions in order to gather more information. No decision has been made on what the government intends to do because we are taking a close look at the research.

Will the member please support the government and do what is best for Canadians? Will she stand up for Canadians rather than sitting down all the time?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health is now a harm reduction denier. He does not care what the experts say.

The medical officer of health for British Columbia knows that the Insite program works. Health Canada, in 2006, decided that the program was working and recommended the program be extended.

When will the minister take off his ideological blinders, face the fact that harm reduction works and extend the Insite program? Or, would he prefer to just stick to his present program of harm maximization?

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, the minister is doing what is best for Canadians. He is looking at the research and we have extended the exemption in order to do this.

What is causing harm are Liberal policies, Liberal inaction, lack of Liberal leadership and lack of Liberal vision. I think Canadians have decided that the best thing for harm reduction is to stop voting for the Liberal Party.

HealthOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the government took real action after years of Liberal inaction to protect the health of Canadian babies and young children.

Our government is the first in the world to ban bisphenol A from baby bottles and has proposed to list it as toxic.

Would the Minister of Environment tell the House about the impact of this important decision and how Canada is demonstrating real international leadership?