House of Commons Hansard #235 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Order In Council Appointments
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table in both official languages a number of order in council appointments which were made by the government.

Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110(1), these are deemed referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 76th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of some standing committees, and I should like to move concurrence at this time.

(Motion agreed to)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition on behalf of those who delivers mail in rural areas. The petitioners ask that section 13.5 of the Canada Post Corporation Act be amended to allow them to organize and bargain collectively.

Canada Post Corporation is no better than the government. Over the past few years, it has racked up huge profits on the backs of the least fortunate, those who never have a chance to be heard.

This is why the present petition, signed by 113 persons, all from Quebec, asks the government to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act to restore some balance and allow these people to earn a decent living.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from over 25 people in my riding and other areas to end the legal approval of corporal punishment of children by repealing section 43 of the Criminal Code.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have 2,096 signatures which call upon parliament to enact an amendment to the Criminal Code to enable victims of crime to lay criminal charges in Canada when a serious criminal offence takes place outside of Canada and when both the parties have Canadian status.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present the following petition which comes from concerned citizens in my riding of Lethbridge.

Decisions by the Supreme Court as well as recent pieces of federal legislation have placed extreme stress on the traditional definition of the family. The petitioners believe that the traditional family is the building block of society and call upon parliament to enact Bill C-225, an act to amend the Marriage Act so as to define in statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

The petition contains the names of 134 residents which brings the total number of names that I have received on this issue to 1,483, which I understand is about 8% of the total received by the government. I hope the government takes this into consideration.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to present a petition, pursuant to Standing Order 36, on behalf of constituents in Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre as well as citizens from Govan, Stoughton, Fort Qu'Appelle, Southey, Moose Jaw, Calgary, Edmonton and other places out west.

The petitioners believe that no parent should ever lose legal custody of their children by a legal process or be denied equal time. They wish to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children, unless found by due process to be unfit under the laws of Canada. No parent should be allowed to obstruct a child's relationship with the other parent or with other close family members unless that other parent or family member has been found by due process to be unfit.

The petitioners also believe that adversarial procedures should be avoided in favour of a more co-operative approach in divorce such as mediation and education in co-parenting.

The petitioners are asking the House of Commons to pass legislation as soon as possible incorporating these rights of children and principles of equity between and among parents. I support the petition.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I table a petition from the Inuit community of Kuujjuaraapik, in Nunavik.

The petitioners state that there are 16 to 20 people in three bedroom dwellings in Kuujjuaraapik. The Inuit find the housing conditions at Nunavik extremely distressing. They consider the situation totally intolerable. It contributes to the high incidence of tuberculosis, infectious diseases and social problems.

The federal government must assume its obligations under the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement as far as housing in Nunavik is concerned.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by well over 1,000 residents in my riding requesting four things. First, that the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development reconsider her claim giving acres to the Caldwell Band in my riding. Second, that a cash settlement be made for the Caldwell Band. They certainly recognize the claim is there, but they believe that a cash settlement is the direction in which to go. Third, that Treasury Board not advance funding for the settlement of this land claim. Four, that consideration be given to the concerns of the local residents with regard to this settlement.

It is clear that there has been a tremendous amount of concern in my riding. I certainly endorse this petition coming forth to the minister and hope the minister will react to it.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 235 will be answered today. .[Text]

Question No. 235—

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

With respect to the Canadian underground economy, ( a ) what does the government estimate the size of this “non-reported” economy to be in monetary terms, and ( b ) how much federal tax revenue does the government estimate has not been collected due to the underground economy?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

The Federal government is extremely concerned about the underground economy. It attacks the fairness and integrity of the tax system and makes it difficult for the government to raise the revenue it needs to pay for the programs and services Canadians want.

The government devotes resources to improve its understanding of the underground economy so that efforts at combating it are as effective as possible.

With respect to the size of the underground economy, the government has closely followed the work of academics and economic researchers. A key finding is that it is extremely difficult to measure the size of the underground economy. This is not surprising as by definition it consists of “hidden” economic activity. While several approaches have been developed to indirectly estimate this hidden activity, each has such serious limitations, limited confidence can be placed in the resulting estimates of the size of the underground economy and the associated revenue loss to the federal government.

The government has used the information obtained within its limitations to better focus its actions to reduce underground activity and recover lost taxes. Revenue Canada`s actions in respect of the underground economy are an integral component of its balanced approach to tax fairness that dedicates resources to both facilitate compliance for taxpayers as much as possible while implementing responsible enforcement.

Revenue Canada has taken the following specific actions with respect to the underground economy: In 1993, 1,200 additional employees were assigned to work on the underground economy and the 1996 budget provided resources for an additional 800 auditors. More recently, the 1998 budget introduced a mandatory contract payment reporting system for the construction industry and federal government contracts, to encourage the self-employed to voluntarily report all of their income and to help Revenue Canada better detect unreported income.

The government will continue to both monitor and fight the underground economy through Revenue Canada`s underground economy initiative, voluntary compliance programs and other enforcement activities.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?