House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House today on behalf of a number of constituents from Edmonton who have asked me to read three petitions. Two of the petitions deal with children who are victims of separation and divorce.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to consider the psychological, social and economic needs of the children. They state that both parents ought to have ongoing access to the children in addition to their responsibilities for the welfare of the children.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to present a petition on behalf of a number of constituents from Edmonton which states that the majority of Canadians understand the concept of marriage as being only the voluntary union of a single, that is unmarried, male and a single, that is unmarried, female, and that it is the duty of parliament to ensure that marriage, as it has been known and understood in Canada, be preserved and protected. Therefore, they ask that the House of Commons and all members pass legislation to that effect.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today.

The first one bears several hundred signatures of residents from Saskatoon—Humboldt who call upon parliament to enact legislation to amend the Marriage Act and the Interpretation Act so as to define in statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I have, also signed by residents of Saskatoon—Humboldt, calls upon parliament to bring in legislation in accordance with the provisions of the Referendum Act, 1992 which would require a binding national referendum to be held at the time of the next election to ask voters whether they are in favour of government funding for medically unnecessary abortions.

Mr. Speaker, it may interest you to know that I have a private member's bill which essentially would have the same result.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by thousands and thousands of people, possibly tens of thousands, which calls upon the government not to support a proposal made by the heritage minister to place a 3.5% levy on video distribution. They point out that this would cost consumers $65 million a year, that the tax would be in addition to the 7% GST, that it would add between 72% and 200% to the amount of tax the federal government collects on the rental of a single video, and that it would increase the cost of renting a video by between 20 cents and 50 cents.

Considering the number of signatures on the petition, I think the government should take this very seriously.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present another petition from people of the Peterborough area who are still concerned about the situation in Iraq. They point out that the people of Iraq have suffered untold hardship and trauma in the wake of the gulf war and again during the mass bombings. They point out that sanctions, far from helping to destroy the repressive government of Saddam Hussein, have actually strengthened it and destroyed any useful opposition.

The petitioners call upon parliament to strongly appeal to the United Nations, the U.S. and Britain to reject any further military action against Iraq and call for a serious attempt at peace negotiations with Iraq and its neighbours; that in order to build a stable and sustainable society in Iraq, excluding an embargo on military materials, all other sanctions be lifted; and that Canada take a lead in the reconstruction of Iraq by providing food, medicine and other supplies for children.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present to the House 254 pages of signatures from people from the three prairie provinces. What the petitioners are asking for is related to my private member's bill which I introduced today, which is that the federal Access to Information Act should pertain to the Canadian Wheat Board.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present a petition signed by residents of the Grand Bend, Lucan and Dorchester areas. The petition states that the use of the additive MMT in Canadian gasoline presents an environmental problem which affects every man, woman and child in Canada.

The petitioners call upon parliament to set, by the end of this calendar year, national clean fuel standards for gasoline with zero MMT and low sulphur content.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition which is signed by residents of my constituency of Burnaby—Douglas, as well as others. It notes that the Constitution Act, 1982 guarantees freedom of conscience and religion in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The petition notes that contributing to the Canadian military through payment of income taxes is regarded by the petitioners as an infringement of the freedom of conscience or religion of those citizens who conscientiously object to participating in any way in the military and associated activities. Therefore, they call upon parliament to establish peace tax legislation by passing into law the conscientious objection act which recognizes the right of conscientious objectors to not pay for the military, but to apply that portion of their taxes that was to be used for military purposes toward peaceful, non-military objectives.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

November 22nd, 1999 / 3:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise under Standing Order 52(2) to seek leave to propose an emergency debate on Alberta Premier Ralph Klein's recently declared intentions to challenge the principles of medicare and the delivery of health care under the Canada Health Act.

On Tuesday, November 16, Premier Ralph Klein went on the airwaves and announced his intentions to pursue contracting out to private for profit forces of in patient hospital services.

Although Alberta has a record of privatization in many areas, this announcement on November 16 constituted a fundamental shift, a profound change, a radical departure from Canada's public health system and the principles of the Canada Health Act.

The action announced last week by Premier Klein is a threat to the fundamental public nature of Canada's health system.

It is the responsibility of the federal government under the Canada Health Act to address this threat and to ensure that the letter and spirit of the law are maintained.

In presenting my case today for an emergency debate I will state three points. The first has to do with the urgency surrounding this issue. I would simply suggest that the sentiments of Canadians and the comments by the architects of the Canada Health Act suggest to us that there may be a fundamental violation of the Canada Health Act. We need parliament to take prompt action.

Second, Canadians are counting on parliament to speak to this fundamental issue of national identity, a fundamental defining feature of our Canadian identity. Canadians are looking to us to address this very serious issue.

My third point has to do with the fact that in the views of many, Alberta's position actually may be incompatible with the Canada Health Act.

There is a real need to act immediately, especially given the fact that we have chapter 11 of NAFTA and the upcoming negotiations at Seattle around the WTO. At any time any part of our health care system in any part of the country is opened up for involvement by a private sector force, particularly an American private sector force, our entire Canadian system is opened up to that possibility. It is a very dangerous precedent setting move which must be addressed on a timely basis.

Members of parliament need the opportunity to speak out on behalf of their constituents and Canadians everywhere in the face of this threat to the principles of medicare. This is an area around which the government has administrative responsibility. I am talking about an act which was passed in the House in 1984 and clearly outlined the principles of medicare, of universality, of accessibility, of comprehensiveness, of portability and of non-profit administration.

It is also related to the fact that the government may be responsible for some of the threats to medicare and the fact that Alberta moved in the first place. I refer simply to the accord signed by the government in 1996 with Alberta that opened up the door to private health care. I also refer to the very significant reduction in transfer payments by the government to all provincial health care systems.

I think we have a number of important points to make. I think nothing short of an emergency debate is in order today.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I note the hon. member sent the letter to me earlier today in both official languages. I also note that this was her first request for an emergency debate.

That is why I left her a little more room than I usually do in making her case, but in my opinion it does not meet the criteria for an emergency debate at this time.

The House resumed consideration of the motion and of the amendment.