An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act

This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in September 2008.

Sponsor

Lawrence Cannon  Conservative

Status

Not active, as of Oct. 29, 2007
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Canada Post Corporation Act to modify the exclusive privilege of the Canada Post Corporation so as to permit letter exporters to collect letters in Canada for transmittal and delivery outside Canada.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 8th, 2010 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the member a follow-up question. The member raised the issue of Canada Post and the remailers, and I really think that this is the smoking gun in this 880-page omnibus bill. The Conservative government has tried to throw in a lot of things that do not really apply. The sale of AECL is one of them, but certainly the remailers is the most blatant example.

I say that because the government, independent of this measure, introduced the remailer issue under Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 over the last two or three years. It presented them in this House. These bills were debated in this House and they were not passed by this House. It could not get these bills through.

Seeing a weakness over on the Liberal side in the opposition, the government has thrown everything into this bill. Things that do not belong have been thrown into the bill because the government knows that the Liberals will go along with it and pass it through as law.

Would the member like to make some comments on that point?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 8th, 2010 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, clearly of all the things that do not belong in this 880-page budget implementation bill, the smoking gun, the item that stands out the most, is the issue of the Canada Post remailers.

The fact is the government introduced that measure in Bill C-14 and in Bill C-44 over the last couple of years as stand-alone bills in the House and were rebuffed by this Parliament. It was unable to get it through.

Now the government has snuck it in under Bill C-9 in the hopes that its Liberal allies will close their eyes and vote for it or avoid the vote and allow this to pass.

How can the member, with a straight face, claim that this is a pure budget implementation act when he knows it is not?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 8th, 2010 / 1:35 p.m.
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NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely correct in his analysis of Bill C-9. We have an omnibus bill which is 880 pages long; it has to be a record. The government is adding in all sorts of measures that have nothing whatsoever to do with budget implementation. More to the point, they are measures the Conservatives have been trying to get through the House for the last two years.

For example, on the post office remailer issue, the government introduced Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 over the last two years. The Conservatives brought those bills to the House, debated them, but could not get them through the House, so they simply have seized the opportunity while the Liberals are sleeping to stick it into this huge omnibus bill and ram it through the House. That is the way the government is approaching the legislative agenda today and it is absolutely wrong. It is the wrong way to proceed.

I would like to ask the member for his comments.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 4th, 2010 / 10:45 a.m.
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NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Bloc member on his speech. I have a question for him about Canada Post, since he spoke extensively about the corporation. The Conservative government has already tried to make changes several times, with Bill C-14 and Bill C-44. This time, it included the changes in and Bill C-9, in this massive volume.

I would like the Bloc member to tell us what he thinks will happen to Canada Post if Bill C-9 is passed by the House of Commons.

Report stage
Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 3rd, 2010 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to Bill C-9 and to the Group No. 2 deletions that the NDP alone has been attempting to have deleted from the bill.

To answer the Bloc member's question, we in the NDP recognize that we cannot effect changes to legislation in Parliament without the co-operation of the other two opposition parties. Therefore, it makes sense that if it takes a proposal or an amendment to get the Liberals to support it, we would be prepared to do that.

However, having said that, we have no intention of voting for the bill even if we were to get the deletions that we were looking for because, once again, the bill is not an honest attempt at a budget implementation bill. It is well-known that if we want to implement the provisions of the budget, as the member for Mississauga South has indicated, we should at least talk about the budget or at least mention it in the throne speech.

What the Conservatives have done here, recognizing that the Liberals are the weak link in the chain here, is decided in a minority situation to ram all this stuff into a bill that is basically like vegetable soup and throw in the issue of the remailers, the issue of selling AECL and the environmental issues and serve it up in an 880-page omnibus bill and hope for the best. They are basically challenging the Liberals to vote against them and have an election over it. That is not the way we should be running Parliament.

The Conservatives presented the post office remailers as a government bill on two occasions and they ran into a wall. Even the Liberals said no when they brought in the remailer issue on Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 over the last couple of years. The brain trust of the Conservative government saw a way to get the budget implementation bill through so it threw in a bunch of things that did not apply.

Now we have the government's very weak defence today of saying that we have had so many days to discuss the bill and that it brought in an omnibus bill because the Liberals did it before. In other words, two wrongs make a right. Just because the Conservatives can point to and attack the member for Mississauga South on the basis that he was in the House when the Liberal Party was in power and it did the same thing that--

Report stage
Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 3rd, 2010 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the Canada Post remailer issue is a smoking gun in Bill C-9 because it, like the sale of AECL, especially does not belong in Bill C-9. The evidence of that is the fact that the government itself introduced the remailer issue in Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 in the last couple of years.

I applaud the member for his analysis of the bill. I want to ask him why he thinks the Liberals should be able to claim that they are sympathetic to this issue, when in fact they will not be supporting it.

Bill C-9--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 3rd, 2010 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the smoking gun in this 880-page budget implementation bill is the removal of the Canada Post legal monopoly on outgoing international letters.

The government tried over the last two years to introduce this bill as Bill C-14 and then again as Bill C-44. However, no matter how hard it tried, it could not get the bill through the House of Commons. It sees an opportunity to throw it in this soup and try to get it through.

There is also the sale of AECL. It is a huge undertaking to sell AECL. The government knows that if it were to bring it in as a separate bill, it would not make it through the House without thorough questioning and an assessment. By putting it in this omnibus bill, it can avoid all the scrutiny and questions that should be given to it.

Just because the Liberals had an omnibus bill five or six years ago is no reason for the government to continue this abhorrent practice, and bringing closure in the House is no way to deal with Parliament.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

June 3rd, 2010 / 1:05 p.m.
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NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, one of our earlier speakers pointed out that we would not be in this situation right now if the Liberals would take a strong stand rather than being doormats for the government.

The member explained the situation regarding Canada Post quite well. We have a budgetary bill that is 880 pages long. Because of the weakness of the opposition, the government saw an opportunity to throw everything into this bill.

The Canada Post part of it is a good example of that. The government introduced Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 over the last couple of years. The government tried to get it through a minority Parliament and could not do it. This has absolutely nothing to do with budget implementation legislation, but the government has thrown it into this bill along with a dozen other things that do not belong and it has driven it to the Liberals who it knows are not going to be here in sufficient numbers to vote to defeat the government. In fact they are not even speaking to this bill. The government is de facto a majority government because of the irresponsible Liberal opposition.

Does the member have any comments on this point?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

May 31st, 2010 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am quite amazed that my Conservative colleagues actually got my point, that wrecking the environment should not have anything to do with a budget bill, but that is precisely what they are doing. They are taking the environmental assessment on energy projects, oil and gas, from the environmental assessment agencies. They then give the responsibility over to the industry-friendly National Energy Board, or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Let me explain the connections between the National Energy Board, the oil industry and the government. The National Energy Board does not have the experience necessary to conduct proper public consultations and environmental assessments. In fact, about 90% of the board's total expenditure is recovered from the companies it regulates under the National Energy Board.

That is like asking someone like BP to decide on whether its oil drilling is safe or not. In fact, 90% of the National Energy Board's expenditures come from the companies it is supposed to regulate. How could that possibly be done? The companies cannot be asked to regulate themselves. The government is supposed to regulate the projects that come in front of it.

Not only are six of the board members longtime veterans of the private oil and gas industry, on top of that, the Conservatives have hand-picked 10 out of the 12 members on the board. Sometimes the board only takes written submissions. There are no public hearings or consultations. Who did the board choose to hear from on one of the projects, the same-season relief well policy? It heard mostly from the big oil companies. No wonder, they are funded by them.

Of the 300 staff at the National Energy Board, only a few dozen of them work on environmental issues. They do not have the expertise. They are not designed to do environmental assessment. It is not their job, yet they are now given the responsibility to look at all our energy projects. It will take away the environmental protection role that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is supposed to have. It is set up, under the environment minister, to conduct reviews of projects that may have serious consequences.

When there is an oil leak, whether it is diesel, oil or deep-sea drilling, oil has huge environmental consequences as do nuclear projects. This move is anti-democratic and bad for the environment.

Part of the budget bill has cancelled the eco-energy renewable power program, a project that was quite popular. Now it is gone. After increasing some money for Environment Canada, there will be a $53 million cut.

Also most unacceptable in the bill is the selling of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. That will have serious consequences. Last year's spending on AECL ended up being more than double what was budgeted, raising questions about what the final figure would be this year. Embedding the sale of AECL in the budget bill makes absolutely no sense.

The other element I want to talk about is the whole Canada Post situation. I have met with quite a few of the postal workers in my riding. My riding actually has four postal stations in its vicinity. The workers are extremely worried that their jobs are on the line. The bill would remove Canada Post's monopoly on outgoing international letters, which means that it would earn less, for example, when they needed to deliver mail to rural Canada. Canada Post runs itself like a business and if it loses this monopoly on international letters, it will earn less and other mail service across Canada will suffer.

This proposal is identical to what was proposed in Bill C-14 and Bill C-44. These two bills were defeated in the House. What the government has done is totally undemocratic. It brought back the bill that it was unable to pass and put it into this enormous Bill C-9, the budget implementation bill, in all types of areas that have nothing to do with the budget.

We ask all members of Parliament, who are not Conservative, to stand and vote against the bill.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

May 31st, 2010 / 12:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, this is an 880-page omnibus bill. It weighs several pounds. There are a lot of things in this bill that go far beyond budget implementation. For example, the post office remailers issue has nothing to do with the budget implementation. As a matter of fact, the government tried to introduce this through Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 twice over the last two or three years in this House. It is a sneaky approach to take bills that they cannot get through the House, put them into a huge omnibus bill such as this, call it a budget implement act, and then threaten an election if we do not pass this bill as is.

However, what I want to ask the member about is that while the current government is reducing taxes for corporations, trying to reduce taxes over the next three years to 15%, when the CEOs of banks are making $10 million, it has brought in an airline tax. The airline tax is going to increase now to about 50%, which is going to make Canada the highest taxed jurisdiction in the world, higher than Holland, and much higher than the United States.

Would the member like to comment about those points?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

May 27th, 2010 / 5:05 p.m.
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NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, if this is the type of activity and direction we see from a minority Conservative government, imagine what sort of direction we would get if we had a majority Conservative government, or if we were to get one in the future.

If the Conservatives are this brazen to put a clause into an omnibus bill to privatize parts of Canada Post when they could not do it through legitimate means by bringing in Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 over the last couple of years, imagine how dangerous they would be if they were ever in a majority situation. I think people would agree with that.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

May 27th, 2010 / 4:50 p.m.
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NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise again to speak to Bill C-9. The bill has now come out of committee and our party has had to introduce several motions to attempt to make deletions to the bill. The bill is so massive, at 880 pages, it must be a record, certainly by weight.

We have 60 some motions covered by these resolutions. The other members who have spoken today have essentially explained how and why the bill has come to us the way it has. It has been quite a number of years since I can recall a similar approach being taken by a government, which takes me back to 1889-90 in a minority government in Manitoba when the Filmon Conservatives did similar omnibus bills over a two year period, I believe. Not only did we have the budget implementation measures put into a bill, but we had extra items thrown in. One was the privatization of a business in Brandon that had absolutely nothing to do with the bill at hand.

If we fast forward to the present, this is the type of frustration with which the members of the House are dealing. The government has taken not only the budget implementation act, which we all agree is something that should be dealt with, but it has thrown in many extra measures, which rightly belong as separate legislation.

The best example of this is the issue of the Canada Post remailers. The government over the last two years, or perhaps longer, has attempted to get Bill C-14 and Bill C-44 through Parliament, which would remove Canada Post's legal monopoly on outgoing international letters. This is the thin edge of the wedge to start to privatize Canada Post.

The government introduced that bill as two separate bill numbers in past years, brought it into a minority Parliament and found the opposition so strong that it could not get it through. Therefore, the government has taken that legislation and added into this omnibus bill.

The government has added in the sale of AECL, which the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley has rightfully pointed out has cost the Canadian taxpayers perhaps $22 billion in subsidies over its history. At the present time, nuclear looks like it is making a comeback. As the member indicated, we are looking at perhaps 120 new nuclear builds around the world. What the government is attempting to do is sell off this crown corporation, probably at fire sale rates and probably to foreign investors and American investors. They will then buy an asset, at a fire sale price, paid for by the Canadian taxpayer and will make a success of the company by building nuclear plants around the world.

This is what is being suggested. The fact is this element of Bill C-9 does not belong there. This is rightfully a subject for a different bill, a different day and a totally different subject for debate.

We want the Canadian people to understand what is going on here. A government that cannot get its way one way simply circumvents the process and attempts to bring it in through an omnibus bill.

After the second prorogation of the House, the opposition parties attempted to bring in motions and resolutions to put some qualifications on any future prorogations by the Prime Minister. It is high time the House adopt some rules on when the Prime Minister can prorogue the House.

Likewise, there should be some attempt made by parties to come up with some guidelines that the government should be able to follow for budget implementation legislation such as this. An independent panel of people, or an independent group of people, or any of our constituents, and I think my colleague, the member for Sudbury, would probably agree with me, will know the difference between what should be in a budget implementation bill and what is in this 880-page omnibus bill.

The privatization of Canada Post and the selling of AECL have absolutely nothing to do with traditional budget implementation. We only have to look at the environmental assessment issues. Our member from Edmonton spoke to this yesterday. The government is weakening the environmental assessment regulations. Once again, if it cannot get something through the House, it goes around to the back door.

It would take hours to deal with all of the issues in the bill, but I will talk for a couple of minutes about the taxation policy of the government. The government is reducing taxes on corporations, particularly on the banks. It is reducing the corporate tax rate to 15% at a time when it is already lower than the United States. It is doing it at a time when the banks made $15 billion in 2009. It is doing it at a time when the presidents of those banks made up to $10 million a year.

We have the highest paid CEOs in Canada. Gordon Nixon of the Royal Bank and Edmund Clark of the Toronto-Dominion Bank were granted about $10.4 million in 2009. The CEO of CIBC was granted $6.2 million. All of these presidents are in the stratosphere in terms of salaries.

What is the government doing while this is happening? It is sneaking through a huge increase in air travel taxes being paid by all air travellers in Canada. In fact, the increases are going up 50% on security fees paid on flights.

Representatives of the Air Transport Association of Canada, an organization that the government is very familiar with, provided testimony regarding the bill. The observations they made are these. In 2008, only two years ago, ATAC conducted a survey which ranked the security fees charged by governments and airports worldwide. Guess what it found? Canada's security charges, just two years ago, were the second highest in the world. Only the Netherlands was higher.

Guess what the government did? It increased those same taxes by 50%. After this tax announced in February, the Canadian security charges will be the highest in the world, having increased by 52% from $17 to $25 U.S. In the U.S. the charge is only $5.

For a government that wants to be competitive with the United States, it has just made itself uncompetitive. Its taxes are much higher.

May 12th, 2010 / 4 p.m.
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General Manager, Classic Impressions Inc., Canadian Printing Industries Association

Barry Sikora

It is important for the committee to understand that during the past 25 years while this industry has operated in Canada, Canada Post has continuously and successfully provided universal postal service. There was no crisis. Our industry has not stopped this important mandate from happening.

Moreover, Canada Post experienced significant profits for 12 consecutive years in the early 1990s and throughout most of the 2000s. While the industry was operating in Canada, and until this matter with Canada Post became public in 2006, this industry did not receive one communication or complaint from CUPE relating to our operations.

Mr. Chairman, how could it have been the intent of Parliament, when it established the Canada Post Corporation Act, to allow small businesses like mine to start up in Canada, employ thousands of Canadians, and invest in the economy with the full knowledge and acceptance of Canada Post, only to have Canada Post come along and tell me, “Thanks, Barry, for building up your business, but you no longer are in business”, hoping to drive all the business to them, which has not happened and will not happen....

This is why the government introduced Bill C-14 in 2007 and then, again, Bill C-44 in June 2009. And now it's part of Bill C-9.

Mr. Chairman, this is really about common sense and fairness. This has nothing to do with the diminishing of an exclusive privilege or the ability to provide universal postal or rural mail services in Canada. It hasn't been about any of these issues in the past two decades while we have been operating, so why, all of a sudden, is this one sentence going to completely disrupt and dismantle our entire postal industry and postal authority?

The reality is that it will not. We welcome the opportunity to continue to compete and operate against the much larger Canada Post. I welcome your questions.

May 11th, 2010 / 4:30 p.m.
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National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Denis Lemelin

We invite all the opposition parties to take a firm position on this matter. We've had discussions with the people from the parties and this isn't the first time we've discussed this issue. We did it with regard to Bill C-14 and Bill C-44. We went across the country to meet with members of Parliament. We think the only way to resolve this matter is to hold a public debate on the entire issue. That's also what the Conservative government thought before it included this part in the omnibus bill. The Conservative government said it wanted to hold a public debate, but it ultimately put this part in the omnibus bill. So we invite all opposition parties to take a firm stand and to ask or suggest that it be withdrawn.

May 11th, 2010 / 4:10 p.m.
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National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Denis Lemelin

Absolutely not; we weren't consulted. We know that this part, which is now included in Bill C-9, existed in other forms in the past. For example, there was Bill C-14 and Bill C-44. However, we were never consulted. We have always tried to be publicly accountable and we've always called for public debate on the postal services issue, since it's a service we provide to the public. This is a roundabout way of avoiding public debate on the issue.