June 21, 2005

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The Speaker

The hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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BQ

Meili Faille

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Meili Faille (Vaudreuil-Soulanges, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, members of civil society as well as undocumented immigrants are marching to Ottawa in order to make the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration aware of the need to resolve this situation, to stop the removals and to abolish security certificates. The minister has apparently said that he has submitted a regularization plan and would be obtaining cabinet approval shortly.

Does the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration intend to meet with the marchers and listen to their demands for a complete and inclusive regularization program?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB

Joe Volpe

Liberal

Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have met with various groups representing various segments of our society. I continue to meet with all those who are interested in making this great country their home. I am also following through on making changes to ensure that our immigration system is the best in the world.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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BQ

Meili Faille

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Meili Faille (Vaudreuil-Soulanges, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration also take this opportunity to listen to Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who have all indicated that the lack of any appeal process is a major flaw in the Canadian refugee determination system?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB

Joe Volpe

Liberal

L'hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister de la Citoyenneté et de l'Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that I listen and then take action, judging by the changes I have already presented this year in the House. For example, many more parents and grandparents are now being accepted. A system was implemented that will allow people with student visas to work while in school and another system will help regionalize the benefits of immigration. We—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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The Speaker

The hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Immigration
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, a Quebecker was kidnapped in Haiti. She was tortured and held until a ransom was paid. When her family called to report it, the Department of Foreign Affairs advised them to call the Montreal police. Almost every time a Canadian is captured or tortured, the government does nothing.

When will the government protect its citizens abroad?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, that family has even thanked the Canadian government and the Department of Foreign Affairs for the excellent work we did in this regard.

Making public reference to a ransom is not a very responsible thing to do. The family asked specifically that we adopt the attitude we have taken.

We are asking Canadians not to travel to Haiti at this time, unless they have extremely important or urgent reasons for doing so. At present, the situation in terms of safety is precarious and difficult.

We will not comment on a specific case, in keeping with the family's wishes and our sense of duty.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we just talked to the family member who made the call and she was not too impressed. It was the same situation when Bill Sampson was held prisoner in a foreign country for two years. He was tortured. Our government did virtually nothing. In fact, it was the British who helped the man escape.

When Zahra Kazemi was captured in Iran, she was beaten, tortured, raped and murdered. What was our government's response? We sent in our ambassador to normalize relations. In this situation, a frantic family member phones up after somebody has been kidnapped and is told to phone the Montreal police.

When will the government start speaking up for Canadians and putting some word of concern into the terrorists and the--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I can tell members that our government has always been vigilant. My parliamentary secretary has been paying a lot of attention to precisely those cases and has travelled around the world to help Canadians, as do our consular services. We have triple the number of consular cases across Canada, given the situation we are in.

I can tell members that our embassies, consulates and consular services are there for Canadians. However, Canadians must take some responsibility as well and check with our website, and check the locations where they are travelling. We must take some responsibilities. The world out there is not always the way we would like it to be.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Roger Valley

Liberal

Mr. Roger Valley (Kenora, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Northern Development.

June 21 is National Aboriginal Day, a day to recognize the contributions of first nations, Inuit and Métis to the development of Canada. I am delighted to extend my best wishes to the millions of Canadians celebrating National Aboriginal Day.

In recognition of this important day, will the Minister of State please tell the House what the government has done to close the gap that still exists and improve the quality of life for the first aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Ethel Blondin-Andrew

Liberal

Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew (Minister of State (Northern Development), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, National Aboriginal Day is the day of recognition for Canada's aboriginal people, and to acknowledge their contributions to Canada, their cultures, their traditions and their spirit as the first people of this country.

The past year has seen significant achievements. Last month the Government of Canada signed five accords with national organizations which reflect the renewed and strengthened relationship with first nations, Inuit and Métis people, and ensure a full partnership on issues that matter most to aboriginal people like health, education and housing.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

Helena Guergis

Conservative

Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister opposite continues to deny she gives money directly to China, but on the other hand, she will not deny she gives money to China indirectly, through her partners. When I asked her in committee today why her website lists various Chinese government ministries as the recipient of Canadian aid, the minister said it was not true. She said we could trust her.

Who is telling the truth, the minister or her department?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   China
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LIB

Aileen Carroll

Liberal

Hon. Aileen Carroll (Minister of International Cooperation, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thought that this morning we had finally had a calm and reasonable discussion in committee. I had the opportunity to explain what bilateral means, what government to government means, and to explain in detail the fact that our NGOs are working in an incredible manner to fill their rule of law which is to help enhance the human rights concept on the part of the government.

I said then, and I will say now, the government and my agency do not give one cent to the government of China.

Is it clear? Does the member understand this?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   China
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CPC

David Tilson

Conservative

Mr. David Tilson (Dufferin—Caledon, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today in committee, John Reid, the Information Commissioner of Canada, indicated that on March 17, 2005 he received a letter from the justice minister advising that his term would end on June 30. On June 15 the same justice minister voted in favour of the standing committee's fifth report calling for the commissioner's term to be extended for one year.

What is up with that?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner
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The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon has asked a question. I know he is waiting to hear the answer and so are all other hon. members. We will have some order in the House please while the President of the Treasury Board gives his answer.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner
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LIB

Reg Alcock

Liberal

Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I said the last time I was asked this question, we are looking into it. The motion was just passed. We will prepare the necessary documents. I will be discussing it with the Minister of Justice. What is up with that?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner
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BQ

Claude Bachand

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, former defence minister Paul Hellyer has said he was misinformed, deceived even, by the military of the day, and was not told the whole truth about the use of agent orange, an extremely harmful defoliant, at CFB Gagetown during the 1960s.

Does the present Minister of National Defence intend to take action and to intervene with the military authorities in order to ensure that they give him all the information they have available? How, in particular, does he intend to ensure that what they are telling him is true?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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June 21, 2005