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Results: 1 - 15 of 45
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I was disappointed to read several stories yesterday about the Khadr report that the foreign affairs committee has under consideration. Since the newspaper quoted directly from the draft report, I can come to no other conclusion except that this report was leaked to the press by a member of the either the foreign affairs committee or the subcommittee.
Steven Edwards of the Ottawa Citizen wrote, and I will read only one line, “In a report marked confidential because it has yet to be officially released...”.
In the Toronto Star, Tonda MacCharles lists the recommendations that the report includes.
This is a serious beach of the confidentiality of the committee. The subcommittee and the main committee have to be able to meet in confidentiality to debate what recommendations the committee wishes to make. If one member feels he or she has the right to break that confidentiality and leak what happens during in camera sessions, or the draft report that the committee looks at, then both the credibility of the committee and the significance of the report are attacked.
If members of the committee cannot keep a draft report secret until it is tabled, do we think any foreign diplomats who meet with us from time to time in camera would be able to trust that their comments would stay off the record? If the committee cannot be trusted to keep in camera confidentiality, when we ask for in camera briefings on matters such as the war in Afghanistan and other sensitive military or diplomatic issues, would the government be willing to cooperate? I think not.
In case members have forgotten or are simply ignorant of the rules, let me read from page 838 of Marleau and Montpetit:
At in camera meetings, neither the public nor the media is permitted, and there is no broadcasting of any kind...Minutes of in camera meetings are publicly available, but certain information usually found in the minutes of committee meetings is not included... Divulging any part of the proceedings of an in camera committee meeting has been ruled by the Speaker to constitute a prima facie matter of privilege.
Page 884 of Marleau and Montpetit states in reference to committee reports:
Committee reports must be presented to the House before they can be released to the public. The majority of committee reports are discussed and adopted at in camera meetings. Even when a report is adopted in public session, the report itself is considered confidential until it has actually been presented in the House. In addition, where a committee report has been considered and approved during in camera committee meetings, any disclosure of the contents of a report prior to presentation, either by Members or non-Members, may be judged a breach of privilege. Speakers have ruled that questions of privilege concerning leaked reports will not be considered unless a specific charge is made against an individual, organization or group, and that the charge must be levelled not only against those outside the House who have made in camera material public, but must also identify the source of the leak within the House itself.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has admitted he cannot set priorities and has made tens of billions of dollars in non-budgeted spending priorities.
To fund his spending promises, he is trying to trick Canadians into paying a permanent new carbon tax he once vehemently opposed.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Wajid Khan: They can scream all they want, but they will not be allowed to conceal the carbon tax. Liberals are now busy concealing the real nature of this tax from the public. Shame on them.
Could the government tell this House if there are any plans to impose this punitive carbon tax on Canadians?
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, contrary to the Liberals, this Conservative government values immigration and the critical role newcomers play in making Canada a better place.
The Liberals imposed a $975 immigrant head tax, froze settlement funding and caused the backlog to skyrocket to over 800,000. The Liberals have no plan, no vision and no right to call themselves the party of immigrants. They are trying to divide ethnic communities with their misinformation and fear-mongering. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Unlike the Liberals, this government is taking real action to help immigrants and their families. In fact, last year we welcomed almost 430,000 newcomers, the largest number in almost 100 years. We cut the Liberal immigrant head tax in half and provided $1.4 billion in settlement funding. We want to bring families together faster and skilled workers sooner.
This government is helping immigrants succeed because the success of the immigrants is the success of Canada.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, that is the party--
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Winnipeg the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice unveiled more measures the government is taking to protect Canadians from crime, tough new provisions to combat auto theft. Yet, some were critical of the new measures, saying they do not go far enough to address petty auto theft and dangerous joyriding.
What can the Minister of Justice tell us about the history of the bill and other efforts of the government to deal with auto theft?
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Davenport that the labour shortage in Toronto is important. That is exactly what Bill C-50 addresses. I also agree that there is a significant impact on the lives of immigrants. This bill will make that impact much better.
The Conservative government brought in the last remaining residents who would join their families. The Liberals did away with it. The Liberals also brought in the $975 landing fee and then they opposed the reduction of the same. Right now it takes skilled workers six years and if we do not change the regulation it will take ten years to come in.
They may not agree with the policies and they want to criticize them for the sake of criticism, but I thank them for showing their confidence in the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party by supporting all our budgets and everything else. However, how does the member justify keeping people in their countries so that they are not able to come to Canada? He may not care for them, but does he not at least care for the Canadian economy? Does he not agree that a 20% to 40% faster reunification of families is a good thing for the country? His own deputy leader agreed that the Liberals did not get it done on immigration. I would like to hear his comment on that as well.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy of the Liberals when it comes to immigration is unbelievable. The fact is it is the Liberals who allowed the backlog to balloon from 50,000 to 800,000 applications. For 13 long years they did nothing.
The Liberals also opposed measures this government took to clean up their mess. They voted against $1.3 billion in new settlement funding for newcomers to Canada. They voted against the foreign credentials referral office. They voted against our cutting the $975 head tax on immigrants.
The deputy leader of the Liberal Party admitted the Liberals did not get it done on immigration and I have to agree with him.
The Conservative government wants families to be reunited faster. We want skilled workers to come here sooner.
The question is, what do the Liberals have against immigrants? With their track record we certainly will not take lessons on immigration from the Liberal Party.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, last summer the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health announced Canada's first ever Mental Health Commission. Mental health groups from across the country gave an enthusiastic welcome to this long overdue action to help some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Those who failed Canadians sit on the benches on that side of the House. After years of struggling in the shadows under the previous government, individuals and families dealing with mental health issues can finally count on help from this federal government.
Could the Minister of Health inform the House on how this Conservative government is keeping its promise to help Canadians?
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, last year the government set aside $83 million for public transit infrastructure in Mississauga. I am delighted that the contribution agreements were recently signed. this money is now flowing to the municipality for this long overdue project.
Mississauga has been waiting for 12 longs years for this funding. That is because for 10 years the previous Liberal successive governments ignored the needs of Mississauga.
I thank the Prime Minister, as well as the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities for helping the people of Mississauga.
This government continues to address the infrastructure deficit left by the successive Liberal governments. We are investing in the future with our building Canada plan, which will deliver $33 billion to municipalities over seven years. In budget 2008 we are making the gas tax fund permanent so municipalities can better plan and finance their infrastructure.
As we can see, the Conservative government is investing in the infrastructure that Canada needs.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Lethbridge.
I will begin by recognizing that Canada's involvement in Afghanistan has been a bipartisan effort across prime ministers and parliaments. In our commitment to the Afghan people we have tried to join with them to make a difference for a country that has had little hope for several generations due to war and oppression.
In the motion before the House we are looking to the future, not to the past. We are asking Parliament to look forward with us and support the Afghan people once again. There is a job in Afghanistan that still needs to be done and I am confident we can meet the challenge.
I congratulate the Prime Minister for his unwavering support of our men and women in uniform and for doubling the developmental aid to Afghanistan. Canada has shown leadership in committing troops, resources, development and political efforts to help the Afghan government secure a better future for its people.
Canada, as a G-8 nation, is strengthening its position on the world stage. Being a major country entails great global responsibility. We cannot afford an isolationist attitude. Our attitude toward Afghanistan should not be that it is a problem in a land far away, especially in the globalized age. We will be endangering our own national security with such shortsightedness.
In our debate we must consider what the people of Afghanistan want. They want exactly what everybody else here wants, Mr. Speaker, you, me and all Canadians. They want a peaceful and democratic society based on the rule of law. They want to rise above the abject poverty which has been their lot for too many generations. They want jobs and education, peace and stability, and they want hope for the future.
I would suggest two things necessary to achieve these goals are security and development, and they go hand in hand. Without the security provided by the international forces, development would be next to impossible. The stated objective of the mission is to provide a safe and stable environment so that this improvement, important development work, can take place.
We are in Afghanistan to establish a secure space, areas where civilian agencies and development workers can function free from harm. As General MacKenzie pointed out in a recent foreign affairs committee meeting:
The ISAF mission is to expand the secure areas until they overlap and to maintain the security for the local population until they trust you. They, the local population, will defeat the insurgency, not us. They defeat it by not supporting it and by trusting that we aren't going to turn tail and leave ahead of schedule.
The goal of insurgents is not to take over territory and defeat NATO forces. Their goal is to outlast the international forces and to make sure we leave sooner rather than later. Insurgency wins by not losing. Their goal is to outlast us. Our goal is to provide the Afghan people with their own resources so that they can outlast the Taliban.
I think it is important to point out that our Canadian Forces are carrying out their mandated duties in an exemplary fashion. We are humbled by the dedication to the mission and by the extreme sacrifices that they are making.
Our military is among the best trained, most professional in the world. They have developed new capabilities in dealing with insurgency. They have developed relationships with the local people establishing lines of communication and building their trust. Their experience is invaluable to the mission.
Security must be established and maintained before we can proceed with aid, reconstruction and development. As I said, security and development go hand in hand. The Afghan people need the international community to help them rebuild their lives and their country after decades of war, oppression and insurgency.
Our long term goal is to help build a stable, democratic and self-sufficient society. We are helping the Afghans to help themselves and we are seeing encouraging results.
We have provided food aid to nine million people and to over 400,000 in Kandahar. We have opened 1,200 wells for clean drinking water. We have provided jobs, education and opportunities for employment. We are helping to establish democratic governance and the rule of law. We are supporting human rights and gender equality. There are many success stories and I have seen them firsthand.
One area where Canada is making a significant contribution is in the efforts to clear the country of mines and unexploded ordnances. Canada is the biggest donor for demining operations. Afghanistan has more landmines and more UXOs than any place else in the world. Thousands of Afghans have been killed and thousands more have been injured.
When I was in Afghanistan last year, I saw firsthand the devastation caused by landmines. While little children play outside, if they see a metal object lying there they will pick it up, and not to play with it but to take it to a pawn shop to sell it as metal to feed themselves because of abject poverty. Sometimes the UXOs blowup in their hands and we see not only one but a number of children that die or are a disabled. This is an important effort that Canada is making. We ought to be proud of it and continue with it. When I was in Afghanistan last year, I saw firsthand the devastation caused and it moved me tremendously.
Demining also opens up more land for agriculture, more housing and clears areas where people can live and children can play safe from harm. Our efforts are showing results, with over half a million mines being destroyed by the end of 2007. There has been a 55% decrease in victims compared to five years ago. All this reconstruction and development can take place because of the security being provided by the NATO mission.
This discussion today, now taking place here in Canada and in other NATO countries is a necessary part of a democratic process. At some point we have to articulate a position. The confusion over the mission, the why, the how and how long, is playing into the hands of insurgents. They interpret this as a lack of solidarity and a wavering of commitment, and this builds their confidence. This must not be allowed to continue.
That is why we have come out and clearly stated that Canada will stay and fulfill its responsibilities. We cannot abandon Afghanistan and its citizens. Our commitment is important because, as John Manley wrote, “--it concerns global and Canadian security, Canada’s international reputation, and the well-being of some of the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable people”.
Mr. Manley recommended in this report that our role should focus on development and shift increasingly toward the training of the Afghan national army, so that as its capability increases our combat role can be significantly reduced.
The motion put forward by this government makes Canada's position clear to our NATO allies, our partners in Afghanistan, and to our troops on the ground. We have committed to 2011 and I am confident that much will be done in the next three years that will bring even better results for the people of Afghanistan.
I would ask all parliamentarians from all parties to support this motion. Put personal feelings and politics aside as this represents a unique opportunity for all Canadians to rally around our troops, our allies, our purpose and the Afghan people. This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. We need to stand together, we need to support our troops, we need to support our mission, and we need to support this motion.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I am really disappointed. I do not really know whether the member was even listening to me. I said let us look forward, not to 1504. I said that I have physically and personally seen with my own eyes the development.
I also want to ask all the members of this House when they ever expected a United States company, a Canadian company and Indians would build a copper mine to the tune of $1.8 billion? That is called progress.
What I would like to suggest is that we learn more about the cross-nationals, the jihadists and the Taliban. I am disappointed sometimes that we base our judgments on a superficial knowledge, or lack thereof, as to the efforts that are being made in Afghanistan vis-à-vis development. We are there. We are developing that country.
I am from there. I would say stop if all things were equal, but I am saying no, do not stop, because all things are not equal. I am from there. I know it. I know every nook and cranny of that country and that area. I ask members to please educate themselves and support the motion.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I voted against it at that time, not because I was against the mission. I wanted an educated debate where people are well informed. This government, over the period of time, has been more open and transparent, and has informed Canadians and informed this House, and that is why we are having this educated debate, which did not happen for four years.
This government came into power four years after the Afghan commitment, so we must realize the benefits of what this government has done. I support the mission wholeheartedly. We are discussing it, but I would also urge my colleagues to stop and to give up the urban myths that they hear from certain quarters and look at the reality on the ground. Nobody is saying it is a perfect place. Nobody is saying that 100% development will satisfy us, but the fact of the matter is that development is making progress.
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, Michelle Senayah, a young Canadian woman from Mississauga, Ontario--
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, whenever there is a question about a woman who is not well or injured, a Canadian abroad, those members do not want to listen. They do not care about Canadians who are affected abroad.
Michelle Senayah, a young Canadian woman from Mississauga, Ontario was involved in a very serious traffic accident last Thursday in Lomé, Togo. Ms. Senayah suffered severe injuries in the accident and there are concerns about the level of medical care available to her in Togo.
Could the Secretary of State tell the House if the government is doing anything to assist this young Canadian citizen?
View Wajid Khan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the members opposite turned their backs on the victims of violent crime the other day, but we are standing up for them.
This week, police forces in Ontario arrested 23 suspected users, distributors and producers of child pornography and laid more than 70 charges in the largest child pornography roundup in the province of Ontario. OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said, “So many of our children are much safer”.
Would the Minister of Justice tell the House if the tackling violent crime act will protect children from adult predators and violent criminals and those who do not stand up for victims?
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