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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, when we came to office, we inherited a justice system that was riddled with loopholes and favoured the convicted criminals as opposed to the interests of victims.

Slowly but surely we are reforming the criminal justice system in this country where victims can feel secure and criminals are behind bars.

We would ask the Bloc, instead of opposing our legislation at every turn, to support us so that we can work together, whether it is white collar crime or other kinds of crime, so that those who should be in prison are in prison.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the government's Bill C-39, the Bloc's bill applies to criminals who have already been sentenced. We need to take advantage of the consensus of the House and quickly do away with parole after one-sixth of a sentence because after Vincent Lacroix we have Earl Jones to worry about.

Will the government put aside partisan politics and start supporting the passage at all stages of the Bloc's bill to eliminate parole after one-sixth of a sentence?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government is always interested in working with opposition parties in terms of reforming the criminal law and especially the parole system.

I know that we have a bill before the House. I would ask the opposition to agree unanimously to pass our bills in respect of public safety so that can be done in terms of protecting victims in this country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

January 31st, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, just days before Christmas, front-line immigrant service agencies across Canada were blindsided when the Conservatives slashed their funding without reasons.

The South Asian Women's Centre in Toronto, which provided vital assistance to 14,000 newcomers last year, will have to close its doors and leave thousands of people without services. These agencies help new Canadians integrate into society and contribute to our economy.

Will the minister reverse these harmful cuts before it is too late?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, is that not an interesting question coming from an MP who sat in a government that shortchanged newcomers in settlement services for 13 long years, that imposed a $1,000 head tax on newcomers and that froze settlement funding?

When we came to office, that government was only investing $200 million in settlement services. We are investing $600 million. This year we will see an increase in settlement services in seven of the ten provinces and in several parts of Ontario.

However, the funding needs to follow the newcomers. Relatively fewer newcomers are going to Toronto and relatively more are going to other parts of the country, which is good for Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, no answer but slander. That is fine.

The bulk of immigrants come to Ontario and others move to Ontario shortly after arriving. Under the current agreement, the current government owes Ontario $207 million and, of the $53 million cuts, $43 million are in Ontario.

This decision is short-sighted and irresponsible.

How can the Conservatives find $6 billion for unaffordable corporate tax cuts but cannot find the money we need for essential settlement services, specifically in Ontario?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, when I was in opposition, we used to have a rule that when we were going to ask a question we would try to actually research it and know what we were talking about.

There are no federal transfers to Ontario for settlement funds and there never have been. There is no such agreement. What there is, though, is a federal investment this year of $340 million in services to newcomers in Ontario. That compares to the $100 million under the Liberal government.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, John Peyton is a boy in Labrador fighting childhood leukemia. His family members are with him every step of the way but they want help for all families who find themselves in similar circumstances.

The Peytons have started a grassroots campaign called John's Cause. With a moving YouTube video, they are calling for extended compassionate care benefits for parents of sick children. Families need help and children need help.

Why do the Conservatives choose corporate tax cuts for the richest rather than helping our Canadian families?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government does want to help families that are in those kinds of situations.

That is why one of the first things we did was expand who would be eligible for compassionate care benefits, who could go and take care of their families. Our government also made it possible for the self-employed to voluntarily take part in a particular program of special EI benefits so that they too could get the time and the support to look after their loved ones.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister and her party just do not get it.

The big banks do not have children facing the greatest challenge of their lives. Corporate tax cuts do not allow families to be together in their darkest hours and to fight together.

On this side, our party has a plan to help children and families. Why do the Conservatives care more about corporate welfare and their corporate friends than the well-being of Canadian families?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have just demonstrated, our government does care. We have actually taken action to help families look after their families during times of illness.

The Liberals talk about having a plan. The sad thing is that the Liberals have had that plan for many years. Four times they promised to deliver it to Canadians and four times they failed. Why would any Canadian think that they would keep their promise this time?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of newcomers from around the globe every year who are willing to work hard and play by the rules.

However, as government officials have recently confirmed, several criminal networks are preparing boats to smuggle illegal migrants into countries such as Canada.

Would the Minister of Public Safety update this House on our government's recent legislation that would stop human smugglers who profit by abusing Canada's generous immigration and refugee system?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, human smuggling is a despicable crime and any attempts to abuse Canada's generosity for financial gain are utterly unacceptable.

Our Conservative government has introduced needed legislation that presents fair, balanced and reasonable solutions to this problem. There is no more room for delay.

I would call on the Liberal-led coalition to reverse its threats and stop blocking this important legislation.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are watching the situation in Egypt with a combination of hope and concern. We are hopeful the protestors' democratic aspirations will be realized peacefully and we are concerned about their safety.

The Conservatives' response has been tepid and disappointing. This is a moment for us to use our influence on the world stage and exert pressure on the Egyptian regime to respect democratic rights.

Canadians are speaking out loudly in support of human rights and democratic freedoms. Why is the government not doing the same?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, quite honestly, I do not know where the hon. colleague has been for the last 72 hours and beyond that.

Canada has been extremely forceful, not only in terms of its response to be able to evacuate Canadians on a voluntary basis from that country, which is under way but, as well, speaking out so that the regime that is in place in Egypt responds and listens to what the population is saying, that they bring forward reforms, both from an economic perspective as well as a democratic perspective. This is what the Government of Canada stands for.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us fill in the blanks for the minister.

Our government must be unequivocal and principled in calling for a peaceful transition to a democratically elected government. That means support for an end to corruption, a re-running of the parliamentary elections and the recognition of legitimate political parties and presidential candidates.

Canadians support the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people. Why will the government not do the same in real terms, not just in rhetoric?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned before, we are calling for a transition toward democratic reform.

It is exactly that position we have been putting forward. It is that position we have communicated to the government of Mr. Mubarak, and it is exactly that position the international community is pushing as well.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, after saying in all seriousness that the oil extracted from the oil sands is ethical, and after promising a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Minister of the Environment is now telling us that he does not need one. In short, the government's approach when it comes to the environment is simple: it does nothing.

Are we to understand that the minister will continue, like his predecessors, to settle for inaction in order to better accommodate the oil companies and other major polluters?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question.

We do have a plan and I wish my colleague would recognize that we are well on course to achieve our 2020 targets, our initial targets.

We will continue to regulate, sector by sector, the largest emitters. We began with transportation and electricity and we will proceed.

We fully intend to meet our commitments for 2020 to reduce greenhouse gases to 2005 levels by 17%.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy believes that it is time to act. The round table has criticized the government's approach, which consists of tying itself to the American agenda. If the government really wants to assume its environmental responsibilities, it must bring in a cap and trade system immediately.

Will the government finally come up with a comprehensive plan to effectively fight climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, a continental cap and trade program is highly unlikely in the near future, and my colleague was very selective in forgetting to mention that the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in fact complimented our government on our accomplishments to date.

We are committed to a regulatory approach and we are committed, where appropriate, where it makes sense, to align our strategy with that of the United States. Where it does not make sense, we will adopt a unique approach.

United Arab EmiratesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, what country did the government describe as Canada's most important export market in the Middle East? The UAE. Where, thanks to the government's pigheadedness, have some Canadians now been refused entry? The UAE. Where, thanks to the government's amateur level of diplomacy, the Toronto-based Circa Solar Energy, have to stop shipping product? The UAE.

How long will Canadians and Canadian jobs be penalized by the government's incompetence with regard to the UAE?

United Arab EmiratesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. We said all along that when the UAE made an offer to Canada, it was not in Canada's best interests and we refused that offer.

Canada cannot obviously accept that a commercial request for landing rights in this country was linked to the use of our military camp in the UAE to support our efforts in Afghanistan.

These issues are issues that we take very seriously, but at the same time, we will not take any lessons from the--

United Arab EmiratesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Willowdale.

United Arab EmiratesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, 27,000 Canadians live in the United Arab Emirates. Over 200 companies do business with them. These people are being held hostage because of the stubbornness of the Conservative government. Two examples are Cirque du Soleil and CAE in Montreal, which have several million dollars' worth of interests there.

When will the government show some maturity when it comes to managing our foreign affairs? When will it act in the interest of Canadians and restore healthy relations with this important Canadian ally?