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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canadians must come first. Part of keeping our communities safe is keeping dangerous criminals behind bars, not releasing them onto our streets early.

I have indicated from the very beginning that the cost of the expansion of the prisons, the building of new units, approximately 2,700 units, is $2 billion over five years.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, he began by saying that it was $86 million over two years. He then went on to say that it was $2 billion over five years. He is juggling the figures.

We need to know the truth about all the costs involved with the megaprisons policy, which has failed everywhere there has been an attempt to implement it, including in Australia and Great Britain; even the Americans are no longer interested in it.

How much is it going to cost? The government admits that it knows what the figure is, but it will not tell Canadians. All of this money will not be available to effectively fight crime. Canadians have a right to know this information when it comes to their health, education and environment. After all, it is their money.

How much will the prison program cost them? How much?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, those are strange concerns coming from a man who was going to cripple our economy with a carbon tax.

Yesterday, for nearly eight hours, the House debated a motion to advance Bill C-59. The Liberal critic talked about keeping white-collar criminals out of prison. He quoted United States congressmen. He cited California. The number of times he stood up for the rights of victims was zero.

Does it cost money to keep prisoners in prison? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Do not ask the Liberals.

JudiciaryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is insulting and denigrating the Canadian courts and attacking the integrity of judges, the Minister of Justice sits and does nothing.

He preaches about law and order but does not practise what he preaches. His oath of office is to preserve the integrity of our legal system. Has he forgotten his oath or does he share his colleague's opinion?

JudiciaryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I cited the Supreme Court on Friday when I spoke about how we have to respect the decisions made by quasi-judicial bodies, such as the IRB, and CIC decision-makers when we want to deport foreign criminals and terrorists. It is very simple: on this side of the House, we want to implement laws to deport foreign criminals.

Are the Liberals not concerned about the presence of foreign criminals here in Canada?

JudiciaryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is surprising the minister will not at least defend the 39 Conservative cronies the government has appointed since the last election.

One, Brian Abrams, was a Conservative candidate just weeks before he was appointed as a judge. Judicial advisory committees which vet these appointments usually take months. It is not believable that Mr. Abrams could have been properly vetted.

Is it not the only reasonable explanation that the Conservatives politically interfered to appoint their pal?

JudiciaryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is slamming and slurring the judiciary of this country. We have made over 350 appointments and all of them have cleared an impartial committee made up of representatives of the provincial governments, the Law Society, the Bar Association and members of the law enforcement community. These are outstanding individuals and I am very disappointed that the member would cast aspersions on any of them. He should be ashamed of himself.

Early ParoleOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, although the Liberal member for Lac-Saint-Louis and the NDP member for Outremont are trying to block our bill to abolish early parole for white collar criminals, the victims of Earl Jones in Quebec are calling on us to take action. Yesterday, these victims called on all the political parties in Ottawa to stand up for Earl Jones' victims, do the right thing, take action now and support the passage of Bill C-59.

Can the Minister of Public Safety tell us the status of this important bill?

Early ParoleOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, let me quote one of Earl Jones' victims in a letter to the NDP member for Outremont. The victim states:

We don't want to see this man out on parole as early as next December...Please work with the other parties to come to a good conclusion for all of us that have been victims--

Criminals who prey on the most vulnerable members of our society should not be released just to save a buck. Is the cost to keep criminals behind bars worth it? Absolutely, but do not ask the member for Outremont or the Liberal public safety critic. Ask a victim.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, like the Minister of Industry on Statistics Canada, or the Minister of National Defence on Richard Colvin, the Minister of International Cooperation has now joined the growing list of cabinet ministers caught trying to defend the indefensible. The minister responsible for CIDA has admitted she misled a parliamentary committee and doctored a document. In most places that is called forgery.

Will the Prime Minister finally show some leadership and remove her from cabinet?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, again, it will come as no surprise to my friend from Ottawa Centre or to the House that I do not accept the premise of the member's question. The minister made the right decision. She made the correct decision. She made the appropriate decision, the suitable position, the principled decision, the respectable position and the courageous decision not to give a grant to the organization. She did the right thing.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about when someone is telling the truth or not. Yesterday the minister said she directed someone to insert that word to kill a grant for KAIROS.

This is what she said on December 9 when asked, “Did you put that word in there?” She said, “No.” When asked, “Do you know who did it?” She said, “I do not know”.

Where I come from, that is misleading. That is not telling the truth. That is a premise for the Prime Minister to ask the minister to leave cabinet. Is he going to do it, yes or no?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister clearly made the decision not to provide financial support to this organization. She could not be clearer. She said that 10 times in December when she was before committee. As to who was holding the pen, the minister made a tough and challenging decision. She did the right thing and all members of the House and all Canadians should be very glad to have this capable minister working for them.

SecuritiesOral Questions

February 15th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry acknowledges that the AMF has considerable power in the planned transaction between the Toronto and London stock exchanges. The AMF is a major strategic asset for Quebec. By creating a single securities commission, the federal government would eliminate the AMF and stifle Quebec's voice for Toronto's benefit.

Will the government reconsider its decision to create its infamous securities commission, which would reduce the powers of Quebec? Who will do that?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we have brought 10 willing partners from across the country and provinces to support this. We referred it to the Supreme Court and we await its decision.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, as he did yesterday, the Minister of Finance is claiming that 10 provinces—the Minister of State just said it again—are working with him on this proposed commission. What planet is he living on? Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and British Columbia are all so opposed to the proposal that they are intervening against it in the Supreme Court.

Could the Minister of Finance, or the Minister of State, tell us which mysterious 10 provinces support the proposal? Even his own province of Alberta is against it. Does the Minister of Finance's province of Ontario count as 10?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you what planet we live on. We live on a planet that wants to protect our investors. We live in a country where we welcome investments from outside this country.

We have heard it from many different companies that want to come to Canada, that want to invest, that want to be part of this great economy we have. They face the challenge of 13 separate regulations. They have to jump through 13 different sets of hoops. They pay for the applications.

That is not a welcome mat. We want to provide a welcome mat for investors coming to this country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, secret immigration quotas obtained under the Access to Information Act show that the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is planning on slashing reunification for parents and grandparents this year.

Even worse, Ukrainian Canadians should not expect to see their loved ones anytime soon, since Ukraine has been allotted only 25 of 11,200 spots.

Odds are against Ukrainian Canadians' parents and grandparents ever being reunited with their families in their lifetime. Why such a heartless quota?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, every year public servants at Citizenship and Immigration Canada make allocations to particular missions typically based on the number of applications received the year before. It is done in a completely independent fashion by our public servants.

What is really interesting is that we are now benefiting from more immigration of Ukrainians to Canada than was the case under the previous government. We are benefiting from more immigration overall, immigration that is helping to grow our economy and our future prosperity.

Instead of playing political games with immigration like the Liberals do, we believe it should be calibrated to grow our economy and create new jobs.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is the secret quota for Poland? How many parents and grandparents can Canada's one million Polonia expect to welcome in 2011? We can count it on one hand: five.

The government is leaving Canadians to fend for themselves when it comes to child care. Now it is clamping down on new Polish Canadians' ability to reunite with their loved ones.

How can the minister and his party claim to support family values while pursuing such an anti-family agenda?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, that comes from the same member who accused me of going on a junket when I represented Canada at Auschwitz. The member is out of control.

The reality is very simply that last year we received the largest number of newcomers to Canada in 57 years and 80% of those newcomers were family members. They were husbands and wives, dependent children, parents and grandparents.

We have the most generous family reunification program in the world. Last year we received more family members from all around the world than was the case under the Liberal government. Canada is open for newcomers.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we heard that the government wants to close Service Canada offices all across the country, especially in rural areas.

News reports show that five offices in Cape Breton will be closed. Rural communities like St. Peter's and Port Hood will lose access to Service Canada.

How does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development explain that by closing Service Canada offices it is in the best interests of all Canadians?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our goal is to provide all Canadians with timely, co-operative service so that they can get access to the benefits to which they are entitled.

That is why we are changing how we deliver services. Instead of having people there who are only basically available to hand out brochures, we are putting in full-time Service Canada personnel on a regular basis so that we can actually provide Canadians with the service they need.

Canadians will be able to actually apply for their old age security or their guaranteed income supplement, even for a social insurance number, and they will get the professional help they need when they need it.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I will try to make her understand. In New Brunswick, 44% of employment insurance cases awaiting review take more than 29 days to process. In Canada, it is 45%; in Quebec, 55%.

In some cases, it can take up to 41 weeks to process Canada pension plan and old age security cases.

In Bathurst alone, Service Canada is laying off 60 call centre employees.

How can the minister justify these layoffs? They are providing more than just brochures in Bathurst. They are providing services.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have ensured that seniors have access to their benefits as quickly as possible.

Statistics show that 92% of those who apply for old age security receive their benefits for the first time as soon as they become eligible. That is very important. Last year, we began to automatically renew their applications, which helped 96% of seniors who applied for the guaranteed income supplement.