House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

As I said at the beginning, he is perfectly right. This bill should never have been introduced in the House. This is a non political bill that was passed in another Parliament. We should have abided by it entirely; we should not even be discussing it today.

However, I am not surprised that the member for LaSalle—Émard is applying pressure to ensure this bill is debated and will give him an edge in the next election. This is what he thinks.

When a man avoids paying his taxes in the country where he lives by encouraging tax havens, I am convinced he is capable of using the Elections Act to his advantage.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate on Bill C-49, an act respecting the effective date of the representation order of 2003.

This bill is very important. It is so important that, pursuant to Standing Order 26, I move:

That the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment for the purpose of consideration of Bill C-49.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The House has heard the terms of the motion moved by the hon. member. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Pursuant to Standing Order 26(2, if 15 members rise in opposition to a motion, it will be withdrawn. Is the motion agreed to?

And fewer than 15 members having risen:

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Fewer than 15 members have risen. Pursuant to Standing Order 26(2), the motion is deemed to have been adopted.

(Motion agreed to)

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you about my region.

The Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay region is a beautiful region of which I am so proud that I am ready to continue this debate in the House to try to convince all my colleagues of the need to defeat this bill.

Why? Because I am lucky enough to represent that region. I must mention that the region is in mourning today. Indeed, the redistribution has eliminated one riding from the region. This is something that is hard to accept for the people in the region. The decision was based on the demographic deficit. All those who appeared before the commission had warned it of the danger of basing such a decision solely on the number of voters.

There is a deficit of about 7,000 people since the last review by the commission, and it is on that basis that the decision was made to eliminate one riding, one elected representative, from the Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay region. That region pays 50% of its taxes to Ottawa, but it is still being deprived of 25% of its power of representation.

However, hard as it may be, we have to realize the lack of sensitivity of the federal government. The opposition to the elimination of one riding was unanimous. The fact that it was unanimous is important. All private citizens, all sociopolitical stakeholders, all four members of Parliament for this region were opposed to the elimination of one riding. But the electoral boundaries commission turned a deaf ear to their recommendations.

We took part in the whole process democratically and somewhat naively. We took part in the public hearings with some naiveté. We appeared before the commission. We read its report and brought up objections. We also made representations to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. We took part in the process, we applied pressure, and we tried to get some support from colleagues.

But we have to come to the conclusion that the objectivity of this approach is questionable. Again today, with this bill which will make it possible to have an earlier effective date for the electoral map, we have every reason to doubt the impartiality of the government in this issue.

This insensitivity can be seen in various issues, like employment insurance. How come the same policies apply throughout this country, when some regions struggle with high unemployment?

Here is a tangible example. A tourism student at the CEGEP in Jonquière, for example, cannot work in his region because he needs to accumulate 900 hours to be eligible for employment insurance benefits. What will he do if, after working during the summer period, he finds himself out of work? What will he do? He will move out of his region.

In the case of softwood lumber, the government can duck the problem by pointing to the dispute between Canada and the United States. Yet, there are solutions. The Bloc Quebecois suggested some, namely loan guarantees; direct support to workers by increasing the number of weeks of work; and eliminating the two-week waiting period. It is not as if these measures are beyond the government. Indeed, it implemented them in Toronto during the SARS crisis. These are tangible examples.

I could give others. We have motion M-393 introduced by my colleague, the member for Saint-Jean, to help the community. Again, the government has shown a total lack of sensitivity. What answer did the government give community organizations? It refused to help them.

Because of our demographic deficit but also because of the lack of sensitivity of the federal government, I have my doubts about this approach and vigorously oppose the bill, which could give us more time to swallow the pill.

Therefore, I invite all hon. members to oppose the bill. Electors from the Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay riding will remember this in the next election.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The member for Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay will have five minutes remaining after private members' business, since he has ten minutes as first speaker.

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division under private members' business.

The House resumed from October 10 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.

Income Tax Act
Private Members' Business

5:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 293, and on the amendment. The question is on the amendment.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Income Tax Act
Private Members' Business

6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the amendment lost.

The next question is on the main motion.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Income Tax Act
Private Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I declare the motion lost.

The House resumed from October 20 consideration of the motion that Bill C-420, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Food and Drugs Act
Private Members' Business

October 22nd, 2003 / 6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-420 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)