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House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all know that when the government negotiates with Americans, it is Canadian families that lose, and jobs that are lost.

Protecting Canadians does not mean hiding the truth from them. However, that is what the government is doing, in softwood lumber, buy American, thickening the border, and the list goes on and on. Now our privacy is at risk. Why can the government not come clean with Canadians and show what is being negotiated away in the secret deal?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is a work in progress. Work continues and when we have an announcement to make, I will certainly do that.

Let me say this. We strongly believe in the rights of Canadians, in Canadian sovereignty and in privacy. These are the types of values we bring to the negotiating table. What is beyond dispute is that we have to protect Canadian jobs, and we have to promote policies that will help job creation and economic growth. That is why this government is focused like no other government among the G7; it is getting results for the economy. We are going to continue to work hard to protect Canadian jobs.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government's prisons agenda in Bill C-10 is being rammed through despite overwhelming opposition from all sides. Police chiefs say it is unbalanced. The Canadian Bar Association and crown prosecutors say it will overload our justice system. The provinces are unable to pick up the tab. Even the government itself recognized flaws and proposed amendments here today, which were ruled out of order.

Why is the government's approach to go it alone? Why do the Conservatives refuse to work with others on crime prevention and insist on rushing through this flawed bill?

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

First of all, Mr. Speaker, when we want to talk police officers we only have to consult with our own caucus here because of all the police officers who are part of the Conservative caucus.

That being said, as long as the hon. member is raising the matter, Chief Vern White, from the Ottawa Police Service, said, “We do believe that minimum sentences in relation to the charges or offences identified in this legislation would assist us”.

Superintendent Don Spicer, from the Halifax Regional Police, said, “The current sentencing norms simply do not reflect the public's expectations and the only way for Parliament to achieve balance is through mandatory minimums”.

This should have the support of the hon. member and everyone in this House.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has put forth practical amendments that will make our communities safer. Why will the Conservatives not vote for these? Why are they barrelling ahead on this unbalanced approach of going it alone? Where is the commitment to the police chiefs who are calling for a balance, to our provincial partners and to families who want to see more front-line police to keep our streets safe?

How much are taxpayers going to have to pay for this prisons agenda just because the Conservatives are incapable of working with others?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member never asked what victims will have to pay if we do not change the laws.

The NDP has trouble with the idea of going after violent criminals and child pornographers and those who molest children. Why do they not stop attacking farmers who want to sell their wheat or have a long gun? Why not start attacking violent criminals just to mix it up for a change?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, they will say just about anything. We have already voted for harsher sentences for pedophiles.

By going against the recommendations of the provinces and experts, the Conservatives are preparing to throw hundreds of millions of dollars out the window, not to mention putting all those people in jail without it having a deterrent effect. To act in this way is to ignore Quebec's 40 years of expertise in rehabilitation. The government claims to be tough on crime, but imposing this bill will only make the situation worse and will stick the provinces with an enormous bill.

Will this government realize that this money does not belong to it but to Canadians?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that Quebec has jurisdiction over criminal justice and can take action with regard to rehabilitation. In fact, Minister Fournier came to see us and we agreed to one of the three recommendations he made. What is more interesting is that Premier Charest sent two of his ministers to try to discuss the necessary amendments.

Why did he not have faith in the NDP opposition?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

November 29th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this fall the minister said inaction on greenhouse gas emissions would lead to a “cataclysmic day”. Despite this understanding, all the government has done on climate change is slash programs and take Canada backwards.

Now we learn that the government is signalling its withdrawal from its international climate obligations. If the minister accepts that climate change is real, as he claims, and the government promises accountability and transparency, why is it planning to withdraw after the Durban conference?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about something that is cataclysmic: signing on to an international accord with no plans to implement it. That is what a Liberal government would do.

Let us talk about its record. Under the Liberal government, Canada's carbon dioxide emissions rose between 1997 and 2005. We have a plan, an action plan and it is working.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, to distract us from the minister's incompetence and to counter its miserable record on the environment, this government has announced with gusto a paltry $120 million annually to fight climate change in Canada. In the past three years, Quebec alone has invested almost twice that amount, $200 million per year.

Do the Conservatives really believe that such a pittance will make us forget the six years of inaction, obstruction, ignorance and bad faith?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the colleague opposite to actually read the budget before voting against it. What is included in the budget is $252 million to support regulatory activities to address climate change and air quality. I could go through the list of the hundreds of millions of dollars that we have prudently invested to take care of Canada's environment, a record of which we are proud.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, disturbing details indeed are emerging about the perimeter security deal that the Prime Minister will sign next week with President Obama. Reports show data on the travel movements of Canadians will be routinely shared with United States authorities. Personal information on Canadians will be given over to a foreign country.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm that, if John Doe from Hunter River, P.E.I. travels from Charlottetown to London, England, this information will indeed be shared with the United States? Will he be honest and confirm that this is true?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, work is still under way regarding this issue. When there is an announcement to be made on an agreement to protect Canadian jobs and to promote economic growth, we will certainly make that.

Concerning Canadians travelling abroad, obviously whenever we travel to a foreign country we have to bring a passport and that is important for international security. I can assure the member opposite that we will work to protect Canadian sovereignty and to protect Canadian privacy. We will work to ensure that we do the best thing for the Canadian economy to help create more jobs, more hope and more opportunity.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, the former chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board is pointing to an alarming trend in tribunal decisions. Ninety per cent of appointments were made by the Conservatives. We have the lowest rate of refugee approvals in Canadian history. Refugee cases should be based on merit and need, but the former chair is accusing the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism of injecting partisan politics into the judicial process.

Why is the government tainting a system that should be independent and fair?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

To the contrary, Mr. Speaker, this government put in place by far the most rigorous pre-selection and screening process for appointees to the IRB in the history of our asylum system. Only 10% of the people who apply for membership in the IRB make it through the independent and arm's-length pre-screening process. I can attest to the quality of those individuals. I have been responsible for recommending over 140 appointments or reappointments and all of these individuals have made it through this rigorous, independent pre-screening process.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism should stop recommending, because more than half of current IRB members have either failed the qualifying exam or been screened out for incompetency. This is a former chair of the IRB who is speaking out. He said the IRB is “not fully independent” and the minister's improper criticism of refugee claimants is “unprecedented” and its rulings are causing division in the Federal Court.

When will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism start doing his job, put competence ahead of politics and ensure that we have a fair IRB process?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, again, 90% of people who apply for membership in the IRB do not make it through the pre-screening process. Only 10% are recommended. That is one out of every ten.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

They're all Conservatives.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

No, Mr. Speaker, they are not. In fact, I am aware of I think 2 out of 140 who have any association with the Conservative Party, unlike the Liberals who appointed the spouses of members of Parliament, the spouses of Liberal senators and failed campaign managers. The Liberals used the IRB as a partisan dumping ground. We have respected its role as an independent, quasi-judicial organization.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday we learned that the government plans to slash $31.5 million from immigration settlement services in Ontario. Community organizations are already struggling because of similar cuts last year and the year before. Ontario remains the number one destination for immigration in Canada. Why is the government making it harder for newcomers to access the services that they need?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

To the contrary, Mr. Speaker. We are now providing three times more in funding for immigrant settlement services in Ontario than was the case under the previous Liberal government. Next year, Ontario newcomers will receive more than was the case in 2005. It is true, however, that the number of immigrants settling in Ontario has declined quite significantly, from 64% to 52% of newcomers. They are going to other provinces; it is only fair that the settlement dollars follow the newcomers and that we have fair funding across the country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister says he is doing better than bad. I guess that is the level that the government has set for itself.

With this shuffling of funds, we are still looking at an overall cut of $6 million and $45 million in cuts from two years ago, but the number of newcomers is at an all-time high. Pitting province against province is not going to solve the deficit.

This decision to cut services in Ontario was done without planning and with no warning. New Canadians are huge contributors to prosperity in this country. Will the minister maintain the key supports and services they need to thrive in this country?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the question is completely inaccurate. There has been a great deal of planning by my officials over the course of two years to ensure that the adjustment in funding from Ontario to provinces with growing immigration numbers happens in an orderly fashion.

In terms of giving people notice, we just gave notice this week to the small number of organizations in Ontario that will be affected at the beginning of the next fiscal year. We have given them several months' notice.

The question is, why does the member think that newcomers to Ontario should be receiving $4,000 per capita in settlement services but that those in the rest of the country should receive only $3,000? We believe that newcomers all across Canada deserve the same support.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government has always believed that western Canadian grain farmers deserve marketing freedom. We have always believed in property rights and that farmers deserve to determine how and when they will market their produce.

Yesterday was third reading of Bill C-18, the marketing freedom for grain farmers act.

Farmers want freedom. Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board please inform the House how our government is delivering on its promise to bring marketing freedom to western Canadian grain farmers?