March 13, 2008

CPC

Maxime Bernier

Conservative

Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has one China policy. We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet. We have consistently urged China to respect freedom: freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of religion for all Tibetans. These latest developments in Tibet are very troubling for us and for Canadians. We urge China to respect the right of Tibetans to peaceful protest and to take steps to improve the human rights situation in Tibet.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, for over a year now the government has been stonewalling its own Military Police Complaints Commission investigation of the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan. Now there are concerns that the government will not give the complaints commission the resources it needs to carry out its lawful investigation.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. Will the MPCC get the funds it needs to pursue the public investigation? Will the minister guarantee in this House today that the MPCC will get the resources it needs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as an agent of the government, I am sure that this particular commission, should it choose to pursue this avenue, which it appears it will, will get the cooperation with respect both to information disclosures and the funding necessary to have a full-blown hearing if this is the direction in which it intends to go.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I and others have been trying for almost two years to access documents concerning possible torture and abuse in Afghan prisons, but the government has refused, on every occasion, everyone who has asked for the information. The chair of the MPCC has made it clear the government has refused to release documents to his investigation, documents that the commission has requested over and over again.

For the Minister of Public Safety, will Correctional Service Canada hand over all relevant documents requested by the MPCC without delay? Will it do that?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this is a very revealing letter from Alain Préfontaine, senior counsel, civil litigation section, in response to concerns about disclosure. It states, “Based on our experience to date, it would appear that the Government's cooperative approach is working quite well”.

The letter also states quite clearly that the approach with respect to disclosure “places the Commission in the same position it would enjoy if it were to convene a public hearing into the complaints and in the same position as a superior court”.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua (Vaughan, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, by 2011 100% of Canada's net labour force growth will come from immigration.

While Canada is faced with a declining birth rate, an aging population and labour shortages, recent media reports indicate that the Conservative government plans to deal with these challenges by shutting the door on immigrants.

Why does the minister believe that shutting the door on immigration is the answer?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it completely backwards. It was in fact the Liberal government that allowed the backlog of immigration applications to balloon from 50,000 to over 800,000. That is not fair to immigrants, to their families, or to the employers that want to hire them.

We want to increase the number of newcomers coming to Canada. We want to get families reunited faster. We want to get skilled workers here sooner. With the Liberals' support of our budget, we will get the job done.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Colleen Beaumier

Liberal

Ms. Colleen Beaumier (Brampton West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the rhetoric, 75 additional immigration cases have been added to the backlog under the government's watch. Its solution? Close the doors to Canada. The government--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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?

An hon. member

Seventy-five thousand.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order. Order. I cannot hear a word.

The hon. member for Brampton West has the floor. We will have some order, please.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Colleen Beaumier

Liberal

Ms. Colleen Beaumier

Mr. Speaker, 750,000 additional immigration cases have been added to the backlog under the government's watch. Its solution? Close the doors to immigration.

The government has no long term plan or vision for immigration at this time when we desperately need one. Why is this minister cutting corners? Why does she not find a real solution? Why does she refuse to fight for the necessary funds to clear up the backlog?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that finally some Liberals actually want to do something positive for immigrants. It was they who brought in the head tax on immigrants. We cut it. They voted against it.

Not only are we doing more for immigrants, we are doing it better. Family reunification cases are getting done 20% to 40% faster than under the previous government. Immigration is important to this country. That is why, unlike the Liberals, we are getting the job done.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Scott Brison

Liberal

Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the RADARSAT-2 satellite was developed to strengthen Canada's sovereignty.

At committee today, the industry minister would not answer the following question, and Canadians deserve to know: Will the government guarantee that if MDA is sold to the Americans, the RADARSAT-2 satellite technology, developed by Canadians with Canadian tax dollars, will not be used against Canada's national interest to attack Canada's sovereignty?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows full well that I did attend extensively before the committee today. We discussed this at some length. He knows full that there is an Investment Canada review which is under way, for which I am responsible as the minister.

I indicated clearly to committee that I will fulfill to the letter my responsibilities in law under the Investment Canada process. There are confidentiality requirements that relate to disclosures that happen in the context of that process, but I intend in every respect to protect the interests of Canadian taxpayers.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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LIB

Scott Brison

Liberal

Hon. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what about Canadian sovereignty?

On October 25, the industry minister said this about RADARSAT-2:

This satellite will help us...protect our Arctic sovereignty as international interest in the region increases.

The United States does not recognize Canada's claim over the Northwest Passage.

If this sale goes ahead and we have a dispute with the Americans over Arctic sovereignty, who will control RADARSAT-2? Will it be Canada or the U.S.?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, my friend is aware that there is a proposed transaction. There is no final transaction. It depends ultimately upon first, the review under the Investment Canada Act by myself as the minister, a decision that I am required to make, the test being the net benefit to Canadians. In addition, there are other contractual provisions between the Canadian Space Agency and MDA. I intend to ensure that those obligations are fulfilled in the interest of Canadian taxpayers.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
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BQ

Christiane Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, organizations for the prevention of HIV-AIDS are facing an alarming situation. On March 31, 2008, many such organizations will see an end to their funding through the AIDS Community Action Program, time-limited projects.

Can the minister reassure these organizations by telling them that funding for the time-limited projects section of the AIDS Community Action Program, which is dedicated to the prevention of HIV-AIDS, will not be reduced and will in fact be available soon?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   HIV-AIDS
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CPC

Tony Clement

Conservative

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, some spending was cut by Liberal budgets, but we can all work together to improve this situation.

I have given my commitment to these groups that we will try to make these Liberal cuts as least intrusive as possible so that the programs themselves could be saved.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   HIV-AIDS
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BQ

Johanne Deschamps

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Johanne Deschamps (Laurentides—Labelle, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have abandoned the regions of Quebec, particularly the Upper Laurentians. For several months now, representatives of the economic community in my riding have been lobbying the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Transport regarding the exorbitant customs charges that the Rivière-Rouge—Mont-Tremblant International Airport has to pay. Their efforts have been in vain.

Does the Minister of Transport, and Quebec lieutenant, realize that his government's failure to act is causing irreparable harm to the development of the tourism industry in the Laurentians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Rivière-Rouge—Mont-Tremblant International Airport
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March 13, 2008