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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was orders.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, it was this government that established the appeal process for refugees to be able to appeal. It was the Liberal Party which had no such process when it was in government.

We have one of the most fair, most open refugee policies in the world, but we will ensure the taxpayer is protected and people do not abuse our generosity.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Madam Speaker, my question is for the government's chief spymaster who is so intent on snooping into Canadians' private emails and the laptops of the nation. However, Conservatives are not stopping at emails. The minister's bill would allow government agents to enter on an Internet service provider when they wanted, without a warrant and demand to see absolutely everything and even to copy it all.

Why does the government see every Canadian as an enemy of the state and why has the minister given Conservative agents absolute power to pry?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, there is absolutely no intent to do anything. I completely reject the premise of the question of the member opposite.

Today we are very concerned that taxpayer dollars have been misused by the New Democratic Party on a dirty, sleazy trick campaign. Members do not have the courage or the guts to come to this place and to take responsibility for this disgraceful misuse of taxpayer dollars.

Does NDP now stand for the no decency party?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, since introducing Bill C-30, the Conservatives have backpedalled when faced with a wave of criticism from the public and the NDP. There is no provision to protect Canadians from invasion of privacy. Contrary to what the minister of public insecurity would have us believe, he wants to allow access to Internet users' personal information without a warrant.

Why does the minister want to treat Internet users like criminals?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, the New Democratic Party member of Parliament stands in her place today, of all days, and talks about privacy. I call on the member to stand in her place, take responsibility for her party, identify who is responsible for these dirty, sleazy Internet tricks and explain to Canadian taxpayers why their hard-earned tax dollars go to support such dirty, sleazy tricks.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety's public life is troubling enough; there is no need to add his private life to the mix.

In addition to concerns about snooping in the personal information of Internet users without a warrant, the plot has now thickened with the announcement by Internet service providers that they are increasing the cost of services.

Will the cost of having Internet service providers act as spies be shouldered by consumers? How much will it cost Internet users to have the government spy on them?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, there is only one party that is attempting to snoop into the personal and private lives of members of Parliament and Canadians and that is the New Democratic Party.

I encourage the member to accept responsibility for the sleazy, dirty tricks campaign, stand in her place and apologize, identify and take responsibility for who is responsible for this reckless, disgraceful behaviour.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, it is the public activities of the Minister of Public Safety that we are concerned about. Not only would his online snooping bill intrude on Canadians' privacy, it would also intrude on their wallets. The bill would force Internet service providers to spend millions to build extensive systems to spy on their own customers. As we know, it is consumers who will be forced to pick up the tab.

Why is the Conservative government making Canadians pay for the privilege of being snooped on?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, I know my colleague from St. John's East to be a decent and honourable person. He talked about snooping and violating the privacy of Canadians. This morning we learned that the New Democratic Party is involved in a dirty, sleazy Internet game. We call on the NDP and I call on the hon. member to stand in his place, accept responsibility and identify who is responsible for this disgraceful misuse of taxpayer dollars.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, if the minister has any evidence he should table it, instead of these baseless attacks.

One thing is very clear, but it is not what the minister is saying because he has no evidence or has not come forward with it. The minister has bungled this bill from the start. Waves of Canadians have expressed their opposition and indignation. Even Conservative backbenchers call it too intrusive. The ISPs are warning of higher costs. Privacy commissioners, columnists and ordinary Canadians are appalled.

This is 2012, not 1984 with Big Brother. Why will the minister not give it up and admit that he has made a mistake? Will he scrap this bill and go back to the drawing board?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, we are talking about dirty, sleazy Internet tricks. If the New Democratic Party has nothing to hide, would it grant unanimous consent for the Speaker to look at this issue and report back today on what the evidence is of the NDP's dirty tricks, or does it have something to hide?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, Canadians would like to see a little more professionalism in the management of the F-35 program. Six of the nine partner countries in the F-35 program have now reduced or postponed their orders. Two other countries are examining the available options before making a final decision. The Conservatives are stubbornly repeating their media lines while our allies are in the process of developing a plan B.

Why does this government insist on being the odd man out and why will it not consider alternative options?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, once again, a member of the opposition is speaking out against the Canadian Forces and saying that she does not want to replace the CF-18s, on the very anniversary of an extremely successful operation in Libya. This aircraft has served our military well for 35 years. It is approaching the end of its operational life, and we are working with our allies to find a replacement within a firmly established budget.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, this government should stop hiding behind its rhetoric and actually answer the questions. If the government truly respects our armed forces and wants to give them the equipment they need, it must start by admitting that the planned budget is not enough to cover 65 F-35s. It will cover 65 planes or some F-35s. The government must make a choice and stop improvising.

If the Conservatives do not have a plan B, can they tell our armed forces how many planes they will get, how much they will cost and when they will be ready?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, we have been very clear in this regard. We understand full well that the opposition does not want our pilots and our soldiers to have the right equipment to carry out the missions they are given. Whether it was under a Liberal government or this Conservative one, we have been working here for a long time—for a decade—to replace the CF-18s. We are participating in this program with a dozen allies and a firmly established budget. We will continue to ensure that our Canadian Forces have the equipment they need to do their work.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

February 17th, 2012 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Madam Speaker, we hear yarn after yarn from that side of the House, so I will try my own here now.

Once upon a time there was an immigration minister who agreed to an all party consensus on how to make refugee appeals fairer and faster but now he is going against his word.

Could the minister guarantee that any country in the world is completely safe from persecution? Of course he cannot. No one can. Gay and lesbian refugees can be especially vulnerable, even in countries otherwise considered safe. Every refugee deserves a fair hearing.

Why did the minister break his promise?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Madam Speaker, the minister did no such thing. In fact, this party and the previous government, in partnership with the opposition, put together a foundation to build upon a refugee system called Bill C-11. This week we introduced a new bill that would build even further on the strengths of what is a great refugee system, one of the best in the world, but it needs to be improved.

It has been pointed out time and time again that our system is being taken advantage of. There have been $170 million in bogus refugee claims from the EU alone. Enough is enough. We need to move forward.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Madam Speaker, the government is clearly divorced from reality. Hidden in its omnibus refugee bill are new powers for the minister. We all want to crack down on the travesty of human smuggling but we should be punishing the criminals, not the victims.

With such vague criteria in the government's bill, the minister could make up different classes of refugees to suit his or her political whims. Legitimate refugees flee to Canada to find a safe haven, not to have their fate rest on the whims of a minister.

How can Canadians trust a minister who has already betrayed his own word?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Madam Speaker, the answer can be found in the very point that the member made. Legitimate refugees have the opportunity to come to this country, begin a new life, bring up their family and become Canadians in the best country in the world in which to settle. However, when we have countries where individuals are making bogus refugee claims, up to the point where 95% of the claims are bogus, that is not a system that works. Those are the people taking advantage of Canadians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, does the government realize that it is turning its back on victims of persecution in countries that are not on the minister's good list? That is appalling. Refugees fleeing persecution deserve a fair and balanced hearing, without exception, no matter what country they are from. Some 20 months ago, we had reached a consensus that would have improved the system while respecting human rights.

Why has the government reversed its decision once again and given itself the arbitrary power to decide who is a refugee and who is not?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Madam Speaker, I would be happy to stand up and defend where we are going with respect to the bill because it would move this country forward in terms of refugee reform. I will lay out some of the facts in terms of what the truth is.

In 2011, Canada received more refugee claims from the European Union than from Africa or Asia. In fact, last year alone, 23% of all of our refugee claims, over 5,800, were made by nationals from the European Union. That is up 14% from the previous year. It costs $170 million to pursue those claims.

What we need to be doing is helping real refugees settle in this country.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, our air force will need a minimum of 65 planes to replace the CF-18, and I say a minimum because that does not even account for attrition. We know that over the next 30 years there will definitely be some attrition.

We are faced with a stark choice. If we get 65 airplanes we will blow past our $9 billion budget by a wide margin or we will shortchange our air force.

What will it be from the government? Will it continue to mismanage this project or will our air force be shortchanged?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, I think I missed a one year after the beginning of great changes that have come to Libya, in part thanks to the efforts of the Canadian Forces.

The member opposite will agree that we must replace the CF-18 with an aircraft that will fulfill the missions that we ask of our air force. That is why the member's party, when it was in government, as well as our party, committed to work with up to 10 allies to develop an aircraft that will fulfill those missions capably for Canadians.

We have talked about the budget. We have established a budget for this item and we are sticking to that budget. We are confident that the Canadian Forces will have the tools it needs to do the job as a result.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, the government is taking Canadians for fools. We all know that purchasing 65 aircraft for $9 billion is impossible. I would therefore like to ask three very simple questions, which we have been asking from the outset.

How many planes are we going to buy? How much is each plane going to cost? And when will we have them? These are simple questions.