House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Insurance Companies Act
Routine Proceedings

April 22nd, 1997 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-430, an act to amend the Insurance Companies Act (definition of infant).

Madam Speaker, this is a bill to amend the Insurance Companies Act (definition of infant). Its purpose is to ensure that the term "infant" as it is seen in the context of dealing with issues in regard to insurance will be interpreted consistently with the

definition of child as proposed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As members know, under that convention country members have agreed to amend all of their legislation in order to ensure that they have a cohesive policy when dealing with children. This amendment will ensure that is the case.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Land Titles Act
Routine Proceedings

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-431, an act to amend the Land Titles Act (age of majority and definition of infant).

Madam Speaker, this is an act to amend the Land Titles Act (age of majority and definition of infant). This act has been replaced with respect to the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory but remains in force with respect to Nunavut.

This bill changes the meaning of full age of majority and various provisions of the act to 18 years old. It also ensures that infants and infancy in relation to land transactions will also mean a person under 18 years of age. The act would then be interpreted consistently with the definition of child proposed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a person who is less than 18 years old.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Canada Transportation Act
Routine Proceedings

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-432, an act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (definition of adult).

Madam Speaker, this bill attempts to amend the Canada Transportation Act (definition of adult). This bill amends the Canada Transportation Act to add the definition of adult. This ensures that the act would be interpreted consistently with the definition of child proposed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Some people may ask why we did not have one act to cover all those together. Simply put, it is not feasible. No matter what, each act would have to be amended and that is why this bill has come forward.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Pension Fund Societies Act
Routine Proceedings

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-433, an act to amend the Pension Fund Societies Act (definition of minor child).

Madam Speaker, this is an act to amend the Pension Fund Societies Act (definition of minor child). Specifically, we propose an amendment to section 2 of the Pension Fund Societies Act, to include the following definition of "minor child": "a person under eighteen years of age".

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Privacy Act
Routine Proceedings

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-434, an act to amend the Privacy Act (definition of minor).

Madam Speaker, this is an act to amend the Privacy Act. More specifically, this bill amends section 77 of the Privacy Act. Its purpose is to amend the Privacy Act by adding to the section providing for the making of regulations and a definition of "minor", so that the act will be consistent with the proposed definition of "child" under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that is a person under eighteen years of age.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Territorial Lands Act
Routine Proceedings

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-435, an act to amend the Territorial Lands Act (definition of adult).

Madam Speaker, this is also one of the series of bills the intent of which is for us to address each specific aspect of the federal legislation as an entity on its own. Simply put, it is imperative for us when dealing with the federal statutes to study each statute separately in order to see its ramifications when it comes to children. There is not one piece of federal legislation that would not have an impact on a child. To that extent, the intent is to address each specific piece of legislation.

For example, if these bills were introduced as an omnibus bill as the province of Ontario did and if one member of Parliament or one cabinet minister had a problem with one of those pieces of legislation, we would vote against all the legislation.

To that extent, because it is such an important initiative and such an important commitment that Canada has made to the United Nations and its other member nations, it is imperative for us to give this matter the priority it deserves and to address it in a cohesive, comprehensive and progressive fashion.

That is why all those pieces of legislation are being put before the House today, hopefully for study after the election. When we come back, we will have a chance to reintroduce them. Specific committees could look at each one and try to strengthen each piece of legislation to ensure that the interests of the child are protected and paramount.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Wages Liability Act
Routine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-436, an act to amend the Wages Liability Act (definition of adult).

Madam Speaker, this is a bill to amend the Wages Liability Act. I am trying to harmonize this act with the definition of a child and to ensure that child means anyone under the age of 18.

This is part of a series of legislation I have proposed today. There is a lot more to come over the next few days. The intent is to bring to the forefront the whole notion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the issues that were dealt with at that time.

We have started to see movement by the provincial governments. In particular the province of Alberta set up a task force to deal with the involvement of children in prostitution. The committee unanimously recommended to the federal government that it amend the relevant Criminal Code sections to reflect all provisions and all prostitution related offences perpetrated against youths as those involving persons under the age of 18.

The same task force said that at the provincial level Alberta should change all of its legislation in order to define a child as anyone under the age of 18. We are starting to see movement at the provincial level to harmonize legislation in terms of children.

There is one more important thing to put on the table. My colleague from the NDP tried to harass me earlier about why I am introducing so much legislation that deals with children. In the province of Ontario the NDP was in power for a number of years and had plenty of time to address the provincial legislation that dealt with the notion of children. It had plenty of time to harmonize its legislation to be in conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are in excess of 75 pieces of provincial legislation that deal with the issue of children. In many cases the legislation is extremely contradictory.

I am proposing this legislation at the federal level with the hope that it will be considered. We have no authority over what the provincial governments do with their legislation. We have a moral authority and a moral obligation collectively as taxpayers and as elected officials across the land to collectively harmonize all of our legislation provincially and federally.

A committee was struck by the UN and in passing, I thank Senator Landon Pearson and her capable staff member, Yolande, who supplied me with a copy of a UN committee report. It praises Canada for what it has done in terms of its commitment to children. The committee took note of the effort made by Canada in participating in international projects relating to children in co-operation with UNICEF and other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The same committee indicated its concern about the lack of conformity and the lack of uniformity when it comes to federal, provincial and territorial legislation in Canada. The committee has given Canada the deadline of 1999 to harmonize all federal, provincial and territorial legislation for consistency and conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Unless we have that consistency we cannot take collective action, set priorities or take our proper responsibility. We cannot devise a national action plan to deal with the notion of children unless we agree on what constitutes a child. Parents must know when they legally stop being responsible for their children. When do children have rights? When does society as a whole have to take action? All those elements were addressed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I want to conclude by saying that I agree with Mrs. Clinton when she said that it takes a village to raise a child.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Sunshine Day
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Thunder Bay—Nipigon, ON

Madam Speaker, I believe you would find all-party support for the following motion. I move:

That June 21st be declared Sunshine Day in Canada.

The Sunshine Foundation is a national charitable organization with offices in all provinces and has over 30 active chapters. The foundation makes dreams come true for special children challenged by life threatening illnesses or severe physical disabilities.

It is funded solely by donations and does not look to any government level for support.

The foundation chose June 21 as its special day because it is the longest day of sunshine throughout the year. It works for special children throughout Canada and truly appreciates the all-party support the House will give to the motion today.

Sunshine Day
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Does the hon. member have unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Sunshine Day
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Sunshine Day
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Sunshine Day
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel St. Boniface, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition on behalf of many Manitobans.

The petitioners ask members of Parliament to remove the GST from books, magazines and newspapers, an idea I have supported for a long time and still do.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I have three petitions to present today on behalf of concerned Canadians.

The first one concerns age of consent laws. The petitioners ask that Parliament set the age of consent at 18 years to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, the second and third petitions concern the taxation of books. One is from my riding of Simcoe Centre and the other is from the riding of Mission-Coquitlam.

The petitioners ask that the Prime Minister carry out his September 1992 promise to remove the GST from books.