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House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we certainly are talking about this issue with the rapporteur. We have officials who will be meeting with the rapporteur. They will be offering briefings on the programs and initiatives in place to ensure access to healthy, affordable food, and they will respond to any questions he may have.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' lack of leadership on health is appalling.

Canada is the only G8 country without a mental health strategy. To remedy that situation, the Mental Health Commission of Canada will release its new strategy tomorrow. The Conservatives' inaction on mental health is costing this country $50 billion a year.

Will the government promise to implement this plan? Will it do its part to fund this strategy so that the provinces are not left to pick up the whole tab?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to being part of the launch of the Mental Health Commission's strategy tomorrow. The report will highlight that everyone has a role in addressing mental health, all levels of government, non-government organizations, the private sector, as well as charitable organizations.

By the way, when we established the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the NDP voted against it.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I could talk about a number of groups that play a role in addressing mental health, but the federal government is not one of them.

Our federal government has taken mental illness far too lightly. We had to wait until 2007 before instituting the Mental Health Commission. We are still the only country in the G8 without a mental health strategy. That is certainly not leadership to be proud of.

Will the government commit to providing the proper leadership to implement the new mental health strategy put forward by the Mental Health Commission, and will it do its part to fund it?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I stated, I am looking forward to participating in the launch tomorrow.

As I stated before, it was that party that voted against the establishment of the commission.

From our side, to help achieve the objectives of the Mental Health Commission, we have committed to providing long-term stable funding to the provinces and territories that will see health transfers to each jurisdiction reaching $40 billion.

We will also continue to make strategic, targeted investments around mental health that supports our communities and advances our understanding and treatment of mental illness in Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

May 7th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's justice system should always put the rights of law-abiding Canadians ahead of those of criminals. Canadians are increasingly concerned about the violent and reckless behaviour displayed by those who participate in public riots.

Those who vandalize the homes and businesses of hard-working Canadians should not be able to hide their identity while doing so. That is the reason that I brought forward my bill C-309, the concealment of identity act.

Would the Minister of Justice please update this House on the government's position on my legislation?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Wild Rose for introducing the legislation and for all the work he does on behalf of his constituents.

As the House knows, our government is committed to standing up for the rights of all law-abiding Canadians, which is why I am very pleased to say that the government will give complete support to the concealment of identity act. It has our complete support right throughout the process because this would create two new Criminal Code offences that would specifically target those who wear a mask or a disguise while taking part in a riot. That kind of behaviour damages communities and should not be tolerated. We are sending out the message that if one attempts to hide his or her identity while participating in a riot, he or she is committing a criminal offence—

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Alfred-Pellan.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the Conservatives, the British criminal Conrad Black is lounging around his Toronto home. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism wants us to believe that routine procedure was followed and that he was not at all involved, when in fact he has previously been involved in many other similar matters.

Does the minister really think that we are gullible enough to believe that he had absolutely nothing to do with this matter?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, when I learned in February of the possibility that Mr. Black might apply for a temporary residence permit, I spoke with officers from the department to tell them that I did not wish to be involved in any way in the matter and that the application should be processed normally and independently from the minister and the minister's office.

The application was processed according to immigration law and regulations, in a fair and independent manner and in the same way as over 10,000 cases every year.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is news to those who waited for months, if not years, for similar answers. Never have the wheels of immigration justice turned so fast as for the Conservative friend and British criminal, Conrad Black. We no sooner learned of Black's application to return to Canada than there he was sitting in his mansion in Toronto. This is the same man who, from his prison cell in Florida, lauded the Prime Minister as belonging to “the ranks of the most important federal leaders of Canadian history”.

Would the minister tell us—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, does the lavish praise for the Prime Minister explain how this convicted fraudster slipped into Canada so quickly?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I really find the NDP's position on the politicization of the immigration system bizarre.

The reality is that the NDP leader intervened to seek political privilege for a convicted cop shooter in the United States, a foreign national convicted of shooting and wounding a police officer. The NDP wanted political intervention to give that person a temporary resident permit. It wanted political intervention to stop a former vice-president of the United States from coming to Canada. Now it wants political intervention to override a decision of public servants on this individual's application. Our system is characterized by the rule of law, not political prejudice.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, as members can hear, hypocrisy abounds. Conservative friends—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Newton—North Delta has the floor.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, hypocrisy on the side of my colleagues across the aisle abounds. Conservative friends get to jump the queue while legitimate refugees take their chances before a board stacked with Conservative appointees. We now know that those who fail the process to become a refugee judge get to have a do-over until they are rewarded. We do not know how many failed candidates are appointed anyway because the decision happens behind closed doors.

Why is the government refusing to implement a fair and open process to appoint these judges who make life and death decisions?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it gets stranger and stranger over there. We are, in fact, completely depoliticizing the process for the refugee protection division. In the future, that body will be staffed by professional members of our permanent public service, not by Governor in Council appointees.

I should point out for the member that we have already massively improved the appointments process for appointments to the IRB. Only one out of every ten applicants makes it through the pre-screening process and is considered for appointment. We have appointed high quality candidates. The IRB is responsible for deciding which individuals will staff the RPD in the future as public servants. That is how it should be.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives are convinced that the procedure was fair and not hypocritical, they need to go public with it. We are talking about a secret procedure to arrange that their friends are judges in cases where refugees no longer have access to essential drugs for chronic illnesses. While the Conservatives are busy engaging in favouritism, they are not doing their job with refugees.

When is the minister going to put an end to the favouritism and start to focus on the real immigration issues?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, there is no favouritism.

To begin with, we have implemented a completely independent system for the appointment of IRB members, with a pre-selection process in which 90% of applicants are not put forward for appointment.

Second, we are creating a system in the Refugee Protection Division whereby, in future, officials from the IRB, an independent and quasi-judicial organization, will be the decision-makers, and not people appointed by the governor in council.

That means that we have an independent system controlled by the IRB and not by the government.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the budget bill completely rewrites Canada's environment laws. In the Senate, the Liberals asked that the bill be split up so that the relevant Senate committee could study it. The government actually agreed.

Since the Conservatives agreed to break up the bloated bill for Senate committee study, why not the same for the elected House? Even better, and following the same logic, why will the Conservatives not break up the bill into separate pieces of legislation so we can not only study them individually at committee but we can actually vote on each part? Why will the Conservative members of Parliament not do their job? Why will they not allow the members of Parliament on the other side to do their job?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012, which is the budget, is all about promoting jobs and growth and long-term prosperity in Canada. We are on a good track. We have almost 700,000 net new jobs in Canada since the end of the great recession in July 2009, but the world economic recovery is fragile. We need to move forward with the budget. That is why, just as every other year, there is a big budget bill in the spring and there will be another one in the fall. I look forward to full debate in this place and in committee, but it is all about jobs and growth. We need to remember that.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, today the Veterans Ombudsman released a report in which we learn that 60% of Veterans Review and Appeal Board decisions reviewed by the Federal Court contained reversible errors of fact and law. He suggests that veterans are not getting the benefit of the doubt in these cases. Veterans deserve better.

Will the minister conduct a review of the entire appeal process, with a goal to provide our veterans with a fair, independent, non-partisan and professional appeal process? Will he do that?