House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Canada's Performance 2001
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table in the House, in both official languages, the report entitled “Canada's Performance 2001”.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the 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 two petitions.

Excise Act, 2001
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew for the Minister of National Revenue

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-47, an act respecting the taxation of spirits, wine and tobacco and the treatment of ships' stores.

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

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to Chapter 16, Health Canada--First Nations Health: Follow-up, of the report of the auditor general, October 2000.

I would also like to present the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to Chapter 21, Post-Secondary Recruitment Program of the Federal Public Service, of the report of the auditor general, December 2000.

Finally, I would also like to table the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to Chapter 9, Streamlining the Human Resource Management Regime: A Study of Changing Roles and Responsibilities, of the report of the auditor general April 2000.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts requests that the government table a comprehensive response to these three reports.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration entitled “Hands Across the Border: Working Together at Our Shared Border and Abroad to Ensure Safety, Security and Efficiency”.

I take this opportunity to thank members of the committee for their hard work in putting forward 67 recommendations that we believe will help our nation, our relationship with the United States and our international community in dealing with security threats at our borders, but more important, how we can continue our fine tradition of immigration and refugee protection in this country.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests the government to table a comprehensive response to this report.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 123(1) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations concerning the revocation of subsection 15(5) of the Northwest Territories Reindeer Regulations, C.R.C. 1978, c. 1238.

The text of the relevant subsection of the regulations is contained in this report.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

moved:

That the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities tabled on Tuesday, March 4, 2001, be concurred in.

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday we tabled in the House the report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. This report addressed a particular aspect, one that is of extreme importance, particularly for seniors.

I would like to start by thanking those who worked on this committee. Regardless of party affiliation, it was my impression that the work done, at least every time I was there, was extremely efficient and extremely important. Non partisan too, I might add.

I also wish to thank all the witnesses invited to appear before the committee. They came to share their views with us on a problem that affects close to 20% of seniors, the most vulnerable members of society. I therefore wish to thank them for enlightening us and also for showing us just how inhumane the Department of Human Resources Development is sometimes, too often in fact.

They showed us how, after taking over the contents of the EI fund, the government cheated workers of the income they deserved after paying into the fund to protect themselves from unemployment. Hon. members are well aware of this, as it has been much discussed here in the House. Some $42 billion have disappeared out of the fund in question and found themselves in the government's general coffers.

There is one thing even worse than that, which the committee also addressed: the fact that the department is depriving the least advantaged members of society of their entitlement. They are not asking for charity. This is something to which they have been entitled for many years.

Hon. members may well ask why they are being denied the guaranteed income supplement?” The reason given is that they cannot be contacted. The TV is constantly showing us advertising and propaganda, boasting of how beautiful and great Canada is. They are pushing all manner of things.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

An hon. member

But not that.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Yes, but not that. Perhaps such advertising would not even reach those people.

This represents a minimum of $3.2 billion. Some 20% of seniors are among the most disadvantaged.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

An hon. member

Our relatives.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

They are our relatives, your relatives, Mr. Speaker. In each family, there may be someone living in such precarious conditions and who, after having contributed greatly to our country, have become aged, sick and alone. Some may be illiterate, unable to understand the information they are given. These people are going through a difficult situation. We have not made the effort to contact them and pay what they are entitled to. The amounts due to these people vary between zero and $6,000 a year.

It is generally acknowledged that 270,000 Canadians, and among them 68,000 Quebecers, are eligible for those benefits. They have a basic right to it.

This is not charity on the part of the government.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

An hon. member

They are entitled to those benefits.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

They are entitled to those benefits, as my hon. colleague just said. These people have contributed to building this country. They are now in their later years and as seniors they deserve better than what they are now getting. Sometimes, these people have never worked outside of their home. Many of them are mothers and are still able to fix the Christmas dinner.

They have never filed an income tax return, and they wonder why they should, having nothing to declare and living on a strict minimum.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

An hon. member

They often have less than the minimum.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Sometimes even less than the minimum, as my colleague just said. Some of them are natives, people living in remote areas, small communities. Again, they may be illiterate. Let us not forget that in Quebec, since the beginning of the quiet revolution of the 1960s and even before, not everyone had the opportunity to get an education—