June 4, 2008

NDP

Chris Charlton

New Democratic Party

Ms. Chris Charlton

--had to pay $5,400 more for one spouse's nursing home care. Another will lose her GIS.

Seniors cannot afford high priced accountants to save them from the government's false advertising, and now they have to pay a penalty if they want to reverse the pension splitting on their tax returns.

Will the government do the right thing and waive that penalty today for the 2007 tax year? Will it at least do that?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with that particular case but if the member wants to raise it with me I would be happy to look at it and see how it applies to the particular couple to whom she makes reference.

Having said that, pension splitting is a major tax reform in Canada. It applies, not only to seniors but to all pensioners. We are hearing about it, all of us, all across Canada of thousands of dollars in tax being saved by older people in Canada who can well use the money, and it is a stimulus to the economy.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, every question we ask about Canadian, Omar Khadr, gets the same response about him being treated humanely and receiving welfare visits from foreign affairs officials.

In fact, the report for those welfare visits indicates that in the opinion of the American officials, Omar Khadr is, “A good kid who is not a radical and is 'salvageable'”.

Foreign affairs officials say that the tension in Guantanamo will turn Omar Khadr into a radical. Is that the government's intentions?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr faces a very serious charge in relation to his being captured in Afghanistan.

The Government of Canada has sought and will receive assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely. Department officials have paid several consular visits with Mr. Khadr and will continue to do so.

Again, any questions regarding whether Canada plans to ask for the release of Omar Khadr are premature and speculative as the legal process and appeals are ongoing.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr faces very serious charges is the answer we get from the Conservatives. That is the exact same thing they said about Maher Arar. “The legal process is continuing”, the government said.

The fact that there is no judge does not seem to be bother them.

Maybe the new Minister of Foreign Affairs could answer today. Will the new minister continue to ignore the advice of his own foreign affairs department that says that Omar Khadr should be brought back to Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat again that any questions regarding whether Canada plans to bring Mr. Khadr here is speculative and premature as the legal process and appeals are still going on.

Again, the legal process and appeals are going on. Therefore, it is very speculative and premature to ask for his return at this time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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LIB

Marcel Proulx

Liberal

Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Sacha Bond, a 23-year-old Canadian citizen, is serving a 20-year sentence in a Florida prison. Two requests for transfer have been made to the Minister of Public Safety. He denied the requests, knowing that the young man has mental health problems and requires special care.

The minister is citing security issues as the reason for denying the transfer. He is very selective when it comes time to help Canadians abroad. The minister seems to have an A list and a B list. Which list is Sacha Bond on?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there are currently some 300 appeals in my file involving similar cases. I cannot talk specifically about this one. He can appeal if his request was not granted.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Marcel Proulx

Liberal

Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Sacha Bond needs medical care that he is not receiving in the Florida penitentiary. He also needs rehabilitation, but the minister refuses to return him to Canada, arguing that he is a threat to Canadians.

If he were to receive the appropriate care and rehabilitation in Canada, he would be less dangerous than if he remains in a U.S. prison.

Why has the minister refused to repatriate Sacha Bond? Why is he prepared to ruin this young Canadian's life, instead of bringing him here so he can finally receive the care to which all Canadians are entitled?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, my friend across the way knows very well the trouble I would get into as minister if I started going into the specifics of somebody's particular case. He knows that very well. He should not just raise this for political reasons.

At any given time there are approximately 2,000 Canadians outside of the country imprisoned. They can appeal to come back to this country. There are about 300 of those appeals in process right now and certainly any individual, including the one my colleague has mentioned, can appeal at any time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' zeal is making us lose face on the world scene. A number of congresses are being held in Quebec City as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations, but some participants are unable to attend because they do not have visas.

For the International Eucharistic Congress, believe it or not, which starts in 10 days, hundreds of people were denied visas or are still waiting for a response. We are talking about priests and lay persons recommended by the religious authorities in their countries, not nasty terrorists.

How does the government explain this zeal?

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, under the law, it is impossible to guarantee that the visa applications for all the delegates will be approved, because each application must be evaluated individually. That said, I have asked my officials to process the applications quickly and fairly.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, apparently, her department has had the list of delegates for the International Eucharistic Congress for two years. I have more examples.

How does she explain the fact that the Guinean president of the Conseil international des organisations de jeunes de la Francophonie, an international francophone youth organization, was denied a visa for the general assembly, which started yesterday?

Yet another example: the Conférence internationale sur le vieillissement dans les sociétés francophones, on the theme of healthy aging, is starting today without a dozen or so of its participants. Why is that? This is a disgrace.

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 member knows very well that our primary responsibility as a government is to provide protection and security for the people who are already here. To do so, we must evaluate visa applications individually. As you and the hon. member know, we cannot discuss the reasons why the visas were denied.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Joyce Murray

Liberal

Ms. Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the B.C. government for passing a cap and trade law last week to complement its groundbreaking carbon tax.

On March 12 the Prime Minister was quoted as saying that his “national plan and British Columbia's plan complement each other”.

If the Prime Minister still agrees with himself, why does he allow his environment minister to deride the cap and trade agreement between Ontario and Quebec as being a rogue initiative?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to taxes, let me be very clear. Gordon Campbell can be trusted, unlike the Liberals across the aisle.

Let us look at what the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has said about taxes on fuel:

Any government or political party promoting a new or increased fuel/carbon tax--regardless of the justification--will appear extremely insensitive to consumers and small business owners at this time...small businesses are counting on governments to...Place a moratorium on any discussions or implementation of additional fuel or carbon taxes.

Why does the Liberal Party not listen to small business in this country?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Bev Shipley

Conservative

Mr. Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, right now there are about five million cars and trucks on Canada's roads built before 1995 that do not meet tougher environmental standards. These cars and trucks produce about 19 times the pollution and smog of current vehicles.

As we celebrate Clean Air Day, Canadians want to do their part to help clean the air we breathe and reduce smog.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell the House what plans he has to help Canadians get these old clunkers off the road?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (Minister of the Environment, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians, including the Canadian auto workers and others, have pushed for years for a national scrappage program.

Earlier today, I was pleased to be joined by the Clean Air Foundation and the Automotive Recyclers of Canada to announce a four year initiative designed to scrap high polluting vehicles. These vehicles pollute and contribute to smog and air pollution some 19 times more than new cars today. We are going to be able to get some 200,000 additional cars off the road.

This will lead to cleaner air for Canadians to breathe. We made commitments to get tough on polluters. We are helping Canadians get the job done.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry keeps delaying the introduction of the Copyright Act. Canada's international reputation has been tarnished because Canada gives in to American lobbyists' arm-twisting when it comes to trade. We also know that the government is participating in secret talks in Geneva to treat children with iPods like criminal members of international counterfeiting rings.

Why does the minister want to turn millions of ordinary Canadians into criminals?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Copyright
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CPC

Jim Prentice

Conservative

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member simply has all of his facts wrong. The key issue on copyright is, of course, striking the appropriate balance; a balance between, on the one hand, consumers and, on the other hand, creators. Attempts by the previous Liberal government to do so, not surprisingly, have failed.

The bill will be introduced when the Minister of Canadian Heritage and I believe that the appropriate balance has been struck. I would encourage my friend to try to be constructive and patient.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Copyright
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June 4, 2008