House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Privilege

10:30 a.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of points that may be of assistance to the Speaker. One is the point made in the report which quoted Justice Gérard La Forest in 1997, a former Supreme Court of Canada justice. I refer the House to the facing page of the report which says:

The overarching purpose of access to information legislation...is to facilitate democracy. It does so in two related ways. It helps to ensure first, that citizens have the information required to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, and, secondly, that politicians and bureaucrats remain accountable to the citizenry.

I suggest that as members of parliament, as representatives of the citizenry of the country, we are deeply concerned about anything that puts a stranglehold on the information required to participate meaningfully in the democratic process and to do our job to hold the government accountable to the people of Canada.

This report not only clearly but scathingly points out that the government is impeding that very important process. I refer to one quote on page 10, second column, first paragraph of the report which says “In sum, then, there is a full counter-attack in progress against the Office of the Information Commissioner”.

We need to take this very seriously. It is not just a matter of partisanship; it is a matter of fundamental democratic practice in our country. I urge the Chair to take this matter very seriously. It is a matter of privilege, not only for every single member of the House but for every single citizen of this country. I would ask the Chair to accede to the request of my colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough to bring this matter forward on an urgent basis so that it can be dealt with in a meaningful way, not swept under the carpet by the events that are taking place elsewhere in the democratic arena.

I would plead with you, Mr. Speaker, to give this matter the priority that we as members of the House feel it should have.

Privilege

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind you that there was a question of privilege moved by myself last June that is now before the House which relates directly to this matter. I suggested that there was interference with my privileges as an MP because of certain documents that were presented to cabinet by the justice department.

I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that you are expected to rule on this question of privilege very soon. You might consider taking under advisement the current question of privilege until after we hear your ruling on my question of privilege. My question of privilege is very specific and alleged direct interference. If you find a prima facie case for my question of privilege, I think there will be ample opportunity for the House to debate the information commissioner's report in that context.

Privilege

10:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The Chair appreciates the comments of all hon. members who made submissions on the point that is before the House this morning on the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

With respect to the distribution of the documents, it is the Chair's understanding that there was a miscommunication between the privacy commissioner's office and the Chair in respect of the time of the tabling of the documents. It is agreed that the documents were tabled at 11 o'clock and the documents were not released to members until later. That was clearly the result of this miscommunication between the two offices and should in no way reflect on the validity or otherwise of the question of privilege that has been raised by the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

The Chair will take this matter under advisement and get back to the House with a ruling in respect of the hon. member's question as soon as possible.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:35 a.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee 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 14 petitions.

Clean Internet Act
Routine Proceedings

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-507, an act to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute material that advocates, promotes or incites racial hatred, violence against women or child pornography.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce this bill which, as indicated, is a bill to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute material that advocates, promotes or incites racial hatred, violence against women or child pornography.

If this legislation is eventually adopted, it will be a giant step forward in dealing with a social ill that is fast pervading our country and one that all of us would like to see dealt with in a way that will make this society a much better place for us to live in.

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

Whistle Blower Human Rights Act
Routine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-508, an act respecting the protection of employees in the public service who make allegations in good faith respecting wrongdoing in the public service.

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to protect the members of the public service of Canada who disclose in good faith reasonably well-founded allegations of wrongdoing in the public service to a supervisor or to a public body. These could be reports of waste, fraud, corruption, abuse of authority, violation of law or threats to public health or safety.

While promoting the dignity and human rights, I believe that public officers have genuine public trust as evidenced in the annual report of the Information Commissioner of Canada. The public interest is served when employees are free to make such reports without fear of retaliation and discrimination.

Therefore, I am very pleased to introduce, after a lot of hard work and consultation with many whistle-blowers, my private member's bill entitled, an act respecting the protection of employees in the public service who make allegations in good faith respecting wrongdoing in the public service.

When a public service employee blows the whistle that person should be protected and not punished. In the U.S. whistle-blowers are rewarded.

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

Competition Act
Routine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-509, an act to amend the Competition Act.

Mr. Speaker, the timing of the recent decision by the competition tribunal toward Superior Propane, a monopoly of a product, is cold comfort to farmers and consumers alike. I am therefore pleased to introduce a bill to amend the Competition Act with respect to limiting efficiencies defences in merger cases before the competition tribunal. Using efficiency to obtain merger approval is unacceptable if the proposed merger would create a monopoly in the marketplace for the parties involved and would provide no benefit for consumers.

The bill clarifies the competition tribunal's powers to make or not to make an order in the case of a merger when gains in efficiency are expected or when the merger would create or strengthen a dominant market position.

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

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to present two petitions, both on the critical issue of health care.

The first petition calls upon the government to implement legislation for clear labelling of all genetically engineered seed and foods derived from, processed with, containing or consisting of genetically engineered organisms before they are released into any and all commercial markets.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition pertains to the ongoing concerns of Canadians for a universal public health care system. The petitioners call upon the government to immediately act to ensure health care funding up to 25% immediately and to implement a national home care program and a national program for prescription drugs.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present two separate petitions. In the first, the petitioners are calling for an amendment to the Canada Post Corporation Act so that rural mail carriers may be entitled to collective bargaining. I am pleased to table this first petition.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present four petitions today pursuant to Standing Order 36.

In the first petition from Kamloops the petitioners point out their concern about Alberta's bill 11, which they feel opens the door to for profit hospitals and threatens health care across the country.

They are asking parliament to take whatever steps are necessary to stop this American style move to health care and to consider introducing national programs for home care and prescription drugs.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present another petition. The petitioners are concerned about the state of the highway system across Canada. They urge the Government of Canada to consider putting some of the revenues raised by the excise tax on fuel into highway construction in all parts of Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

October 17th, 2000 / 10:45 a.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in which the petitioners are concerned about our criminal code. They call upon the Government of Canada to amend the criminal code to prevent persons convicted of serious crimes from being released from custody pending the hearing of their appeals except in exceptional circumstances.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition is from members of the Sikh temple in Kamloops. They point out the importance of April 13 in their religion. They also point out their contribution to Canadian society.

More important, they call upon the House to recognize the importance of the five K s. These are the kirpan, a sword representing indomitable spirit; kesa, unshorn hair representing simple life, saintliness and devotion to God; kara, a steel bangle worn as a sign of eternity to God; kangah, a wooden comb worn to represent a clean mind and body; and kacha, short breeches representing hygienic living.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:45 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to present a second petition signed by a number of people in my riding.

These petitioners are calling on the government to do everything possible to lower the price of gasoline, especially with winter just around the corner. The increase in the price of gasoline will make it difficult for many people in my riding and across the country to make ends meet over the winter, given the very high price of heating oil, among other things.