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House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question.

I share her concerns about families of Haitian origin that want to be reunited with relatives from Haiti. That is why we put in place measures to expedite family sponsorship applications. I am happy to announce that we have already process several hundred such cases and that our officials have added resources to process these sponsorship applications much more quickly.

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget bill finally saw the results of the government's flawed deal on softwood lumber: a punitive $68 million tax on softwood for producers from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

We were falsely told that the softwood lumber deal would end litigation and penalties and hardship for Canadian companies. Litigation is up, and we are now losing lawsuits instead of winning them.

Why is our lumber industry forced to pay for the government's incompetence through yet another tax increase in budget 2010?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber agreement continues to provide tremendous benefits for Canada. As a result of the softwood lumber agreement, $5 billion in taxes that had been collected by the Americans were repatriated to Canadian businesses.

There is a reason the softwood lumber agreement continues to have the strong support of all the provinces and the industry, and that is it is a good agreement that works in the best interests of Canadian softwood lumber companies and workers.

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber industry has been devastated by the recession. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost since the industry peaked in 2007. Companies have closed. Some communities have lost their biggest source of jobs. And what is this government doing? It is forcing producers in four provinces to pay for its $60 million mistake.

Once again, why is the government making the forestry sector pay for its mistakes, when this sector cannot afford to do so?

Softwood Lumber IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber agreement has been working well for over three years. It provided access to the U.S. market, gave the industry the certainty it needed and enabled Canadian softwood lumber producers to recover more than $5 billion in duties.

The provinces and the industry support the agreement because it is working well for companies and for workers.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats have long pushed for fast and fair refugee reform, but fairness means that all refugees should have the right to appeal.

Instead, the minister is asking this House to give him total and absolute power to deny refugee claimants equal rights. That is dangerous and arrogant.

Does the minister honestly believe he has the right to pick and choose which groups should become second-class refugees?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, no, I do not and nor do the balanced reforms suggest that.

What we have done is to deliver a new refugee appeal division, faster protection for bona fide refugees. They will not have to wait for a year and a half; they will be getting protection within 60 days. There will be faster removal of false claimants. There will no longer be five years of gaming the system; they will be out within a year. There will be public service decision makers, a significant backlog reduction, more resettled refugees from abroad, more support for those refugees to get integrated.

The NDP asked for all of those things. Can the NDP not take yes, for once, as an answer?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, all people who face persecution should be treated equally, no matter which country they come from.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said people do flee persecution from democratic countries. The consequences for this flawed and unfair refugee reform could be imprisonment, torture and even death.

How can the minister ask this House to support a bill that can result in such tragic consequences?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, let us make sure we do not get carried away with the kind of demagoguery we are hearing here.

The reality is that we are adding a full complete appeal division. This balanced reform will exceed Canada's legal obligations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the relevant UN conventions, and it includes a tool to deal with spikes in unfounded claims from democratic countries. According to the UN high commissioner, there are indeed safe countries of origin.

There are indeed countries in which there is a presumption that refugee claims will probably not be as strong as in other countries, which is the reason that modern western liberal democracies like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands have all adopted—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking action to avoid a two-tiered immigration system, one for immigrants who wait in line, often for years, to come to Canada and another for those who abuse the asylum system not for protection but to try to get into Canada through the back door.

Could the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism tell the House how these new reforms will fix the two-tiered immigration system and provide better protection for legitimate asylum seekers?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, for too long Canada's asylum system has been broken with huge backlogs, enormous waiting times, a year and a half to get a hearing.

What we are doing is finally bringing about balanced reforms that will give protection to bona fide refugees in just a few weeks and that will remove false refugee claimants in less than a year rather than taking several years to game our system.

This is a reform that will allow more UN refugees who are in camps abroad to come to Canada and provide them with additional support. It adds more process to protect their rights, the new refugee appeal division.

This is in the best tradition of our humanitarian—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Malpeque.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it never ends with the Minister of State for the Status of Women.

Today we learned that a series of fawning letters to the editor about the minister, sent to newspapers in Simcoe—Grey under the name Jessica Morgan, were actually written by the minister's executive assistant, Jessica Craven. Talk about craven promotion. We have not seen this kind of impersonation since Rahim Jaffer's executive assistant tried to do his boss' radio interviews.

How much more embarrassment can the government take before it fires this minister?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the staffer in question, she called me today. She advised me of the situation. We discussed it. We did discuss that it was inappropriate. She apologized and assured me that it will not happen again.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to jeopardizing the health of patients, the isotope crisis is impacting the budgets of Quebec and the provinces. Dr. François Lamoureux, president of the Association des médecins spécialistes en médecine nucléaire du Québec, is still seething: “The government...has acted like amateurs...it has created a crisis throughout the world. This matter has been so badly mishandled—”

The reactor's restart has been announced six times. How can we believe that it will happen this time?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. This is a global problem that requires a global solution. The government has shown leadership by establishing a high level group to deal with the problem. A group of international medical experts is improving coordination of the strategy.

This is unprecedented because, previously, the reactors were competing against one another and there were no discussions. Our budget allocates $35 million to research in order to identify alternatives, plus $13 million to clinical trials. Once again, the Bloc does not support the budget.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently conducted a study that indicated that 82% of Canada's entrepreneurs would like the federal government to defer future increases in employment insurance premiums until the $57 billion surplus has been fully repaid.

If the Minister of Finance truly opposes the Liberals' plundering of the EI fund, why is he using yesterday's Conservative budget bill to finish the job started by the Liberals?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the plain fact is that the previous Liberal government, in the middle of the 1990s, siphoned off the $58 billion to $60 billion from the EI fund and put it into the consolidated revenue fund. People do not have to take my word for it. Read what professors—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Tell Sheila Fraser that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the member for Wascana does not want to hear this, but read what the professors say, read what the economists say. I will share it with the House. The Liberals took the money. The money is gone. They siphoned it off. When are they going to put it back?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

March 30th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have long desired a more accountable Senate and support term limits for senators. Our Conservative government agrees with Canadians.

Can the Minister of State for Democratic Reform tell the House what he is doing to make this a reality?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, indeed, yesterday this government introduced legislation to limit the terms of senators to eight years. This legislation will ensure that senators gain the experience necessary to fulfill their important role as second sober thought while also allowing the Senate to refresh and renew itself.

I welcome the members opposite to support our efforts to make the Senate more accountable, effective and democratic.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations between all parties and I think if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, during the debate tonight pursuant to Standing Order 52, no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?