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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Quebec municipalities are fed up with the federal government for tossing the problems back into their court. Because federal departments have been so slow, a number of projects will not be completed on time. Municipalities that have to deal with a shortage of material and labour run the risk of also having to foot another bill.

Will the government finally listen to the Fédération québécoise des municipalités and the Union des municipalités du Québec and extend the March 31, 2011, deadline for all infrastructure projects?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the good news keeps coming in. Now I hear there are shortages of workers. How much more creation of jobs can we do? We will continue down the same path: more jobs and more infrastructure projects.

I have already spoken to the Premier of Quebec. I have spoken to ministers Lessard, Hamad and others, saying we will be fair and reasonable. But the deadline is five months away. We are getting data and details from the Quebec government on the status of these different projects. We are working very closely with them.

In fact, in the National Assembly, the minister there said we are working closer together. He is very satisfied with our progress.

Disability BenefitsOral Questions

October 27th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I met with Joseé, Sue, Peter, Patrick and about 40 other disabled individuals on long-term disability.

They were here to tell their stories, to tell us that they will face homelessness if the government fails to pass Bill S-216 by Christmas. These are hard-working and proud Canadians who need and deserve our help.

The Prime Minister can find time to appoint 32 senators for life with a guaranteed pension. Why is he now using these same senators to block passage of Bill S-216?

Disability BenefitsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member and this House that we are very concerned about any individual in the country who stands to lose his or her benefits as a result of activity in the economic marketplace that is not his or her fault.

I can assure the hon. member that this is being viewed at the highest levels to ensure that we have a system that works for individual members, that works for businesses that want to continue to operate, that works with the Canadian economy as a whole, and in due course, when we have something to announce, we will announce it.

Disability BenefitsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are only six weeks left, so I hope the Conservatives will hurry up. These people clearly need help today. They are here in Ottawa in wheelchairs and with canes, in tears, begging parliamentarians for help.

For them, December 31 is the end. Their health insurance benefits will no longer be paid as a result of the bankruptcy of Nortel. Bill S-216 is their last hope.

Why is the Prime Minister not ordering his Conservative-dominated Senate to pass this bill today, before it is too late?

Disability BenefitsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows, or should know, that if we actually look at the legalities of that particular proposed piece of legislation, it will not help, or cannot help, the very people she seeks to help.

We, on the other hand, are moving to make sure that this issue is dealt with at the highest levels, that we can have a plan that makes sense to the Canadian economy and makes sense for the individuals who are caught in that particular situation.

However, the bill to which she refers will not be of any help to those particular people.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned of more ducks dying in Syncrude's tailings ponds. Today we heard that birds were found at Shell and Suncor facilities.

The prosecution and a $3 million penalty for Syncrude has at least had the positive effect of getting companies to report these incidents. However, investigation and prosecution of these sad incidents will do little to prevent the continuing impacts of these industrial facilities.

When will the government finally intervene to prohibit toxic ponds that violate federal laws?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government takes this incident very seriously. This is completely unacceptable.

The member well knows that this government has made it very clear that the oil sands must be developed in the most environmentally responsible way. Environment Canada enforcement officials will investigate this incident.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, clearly the government did not hear my question.

The environmental impacts of this industry are not news. The standing committees on natural resources and environment conducted reviews of the impact of the oil sands.

In September the New Democrats issued a detailed report reflecting calls for the exercise of federal powers to regulate and enforce environmental measures. The announced review of water monitoring studies and even the investigation just do not cut it.

When will the government finally assert its powers to clean up the oil sands and protect the Mackenzie watershed?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to making sure that the oil sands are developed in an environmentally responsible way.

That is why the minister created a federal panel of Canada's leading scientists to monitor the water, to find out where any toxins may be coming into the water and whether or not they are natural. We have also invested in state-of-the-art analytical equipment for chemical fingerprinting.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect to be served by a government that is open, honest and accountable.

In 2005, Canadians were ashamed to discover that Transparency International had ranked Canada 14th in the world in its annual corruption index.

In the 2006 election, Canadians rejected the Liberals and their cash-stuffed brown paper envelopes and elected a Conservative government with a mandate to clean up Ottawa.

Can the President of the Treasury Board update the House on the progress we are making?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is quite true that in 2005, Transparency International, in its annual corruption perceptions index of 178 countries, pointed out that under the Liberals, Canada had slid down to 14th place. Canadians felt ashamed about this.

Through our Federal Accountability Act and other measures that we have put in place, two years after that very damning report, we had improved and moved to eighth place. This year Canada has now moved to sixth place, and we will not be happy until we get to first place.

Terra Nova National ParkOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware of the damage inflicted on the east coast of Newfoundland by hurricane Igor.

One of those areas is Terra Nova National Park. Residents are quite concerned and upset about the state of the roads within the park's jurisdiction. These roads serve as the only link that the residents have to the outside world.

Could the minister in charge of Parks Canada update the House, and will he commit to helping those communities in need?

Finally, I would like to remind the member opposite who answers that this is a serious issue.

Terra Nova National ParkOral Questions

3 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the environment is fragile.

This government is committed to ensuring that the environment is protected. I look forward to working with that member.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, last spring, all parties in this House agreed to reform the asylum system to ensure that all refugees are treated fairly and have access to a new appeal section. With its bill to supposedly fight illegal immigration, the government is insisting on creating a second category of refugees based on their method of arrival in Canada.

Why is the government coming back with a discriminatory bill that creates two classes of refugees?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I find it rather odd that the Bloc Québécois has not asked a single question about the threat that human smuggling poses to the integrity and fairness of Canada's immigration system. Quebeckers and Canadians expect their government to fight human trafficking. We have adopted measures, and Quebeckers expect the Bloc to support the government's strict but fair measures on this.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we saw another Auditor General's report declaring that service delivery at Immigration Canada is a complete mess. The minister is neglecting his job.

Citizenship paperwork takes 18 months to get approved. Some Canadians wait six years to be united with their parents. There are no standards, no efficiency and no accountability.

Instead of simply changing the laws to give himself more power, when will the minister do his job and fix the lousy second rate service delivered by his department?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, we accept the helpful recommendations of the Auditor General. We have already put service standards in place.

I resent the fact that the member is attacking the good work done by the hard-working officials at Citizenship and Immigration Canada who manage the largest immigration program in the world.

Perhaps she did not notice because she opposed it, but she opposed the sensible measures brought into law in the last Parliament that have resulted in new skilled worker applicants getting an answer on their application in six to eight months. Under the previous government it was taking about six years.

Bloc QuébécoisOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, we recently discovered that some Bloc members are supporting a conference that will be attended by the executive director of an NGO that sanctions hateful stereotypes about Jews.

The spokesperson for the Canadian Islamic Congress claims that all Israelis over 18 are legitimate targets for Palestinians. That organization will be represented at the conference. Those remarks are unacceptable.

Can the Minister of Public Safety comment on the Maclean's magazine article that reports that the Bloc Québécois member for Gatineau is sponsoring this hateful event?

Bloc QuébécoisOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as soon as I learned about this event, I asked the RCMP to explain its involvement. I have asked it to immediately cease any participation.

Let me be clear. Canada's national police force must have no involvement in any event organized by those who promote extremism and hatred.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Dr. Luis Federico Franco Gomez, Vice-President of the Republic of Paraguay.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would also like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Minister for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair has notice of a point of order by the hon. member for Sherbrooke.