House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

Noon

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the interim Privacy Commissioner, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Report to Parliament on Actions Arising from the Auditor General's Report on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

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

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Pursuant to reference order made by the House of Commons on March 20, 2003, your committee has considered Bill C-202 and agreed, on Wednesday, October 29, 2003, to report its observations and recommendations to the House.

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

This is a very important report for official language minority communities. The committee makes fourteen recommendations to improve access to health care for these communities.

For several years, we have found that, all too often, these communities lacked access to health care in the official language of their choice. Our recommendations seek to provide them with permanent and improved access to health care so that they too can benefit from the Canada health system, which is one of the best in the world. We realized that these communities have not always had such access. It is extremely important, if not essential, that the government provide a positive response to these recommendations.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, I have the honour today to present three petitions on behalf of the good people of Dauphin--Swan River.

The first petition calls upon Parliament to take immediate action to develop internationally recognized protocols designed to restore confidence in Canadian beef products and to open international beef markets to Canadian producers.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, the second petition calls upon Parliament to protect the rights of Canadians to be free to share their religious beliefs without fear of persecution.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, the last petition calls upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activity involving children are outlawed.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, I am in receipt of some 25,000 signatures on a petition from Canadians across London and southwestern Ontario and I am pleased to table today 2,000 of those signatures that have been properly vetted.

These Canadians are calling upon the Government of Canada to reaffirm the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. They remind the Parliament of Canada that it is on record on this several times, including in legislation.

I am very pleased to join with these Canadians in calling upon the government to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Madam Speaker, I wish to present a petition to recognize the institution of marriage as being a lifelong union of one man and woman to the exclusion of all others.

Only a couple of the petitions here today fulfill the requirement but I have many others. I have close to 7,000 others in my office that will be sent to the minister. I submit these today for the record.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Madam Speaker, I have several petitions to present from people in my riding and elsewhere calling upon Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including invoking section 33 of the charter, if necessary, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

October 31st, 2003 / 12:05 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Madam Speaker, Question No. 254 will be answered today.

Question No. 254
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

With respect to the Employment Insurance Program (EI), will the Department of Human Resources Development consider: ( a ) moving forward on the long-promised review of the EI premium-setting mechanism; ( b ) bringing EI premiums into balance with EI costs; and ( c ) separating the EI fund from general revenues?

Question No. 254
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

a) Moving forward on the long promised review of the EI premium-setting mechanism

The review of the EI premium rate-setting mechanism is already underway. In the 2003 budget, the government launched a consultation process on a new permanent rate-setting regime for 2005 and beyond and outlined five principles upon which the consultations would be based.

--The Department of Finance and HRDC held a series of roundtable consultations with business and labour stakeholders, economists and technical experts and the EI Commissioners for Workers and Employers.

--All Canadians were also invited to provide submissions by mail or Internet to the Government of Canada before June 30, 2003.

The consultation phase of the rate-setting review is now complete. HRDC and the Department of Finance will produce a public document summarizing the views received during these consultations. Legislation will also be introduced in time to have a new rate-setting mechanism in place for 2005.

b) Bringing EI premiums into balance with EI costs

The 2004 premium rate has been set at $1.98 of insurable earnings in budget 2003. According to the private sector economic forecasts used in the budget, this premium rate should bring premium revenues in line with program costs over 2004. The premium rate for 2005 and beyond will be set as part of the new rate-setting regime. While the outcome of this process is not known, it must be emphasized that balancing EI premiums with EI costs is one of the five principles on which the future process is to be based.

c) Separating the EI fund from general revenues

Since 1986, following the recommendation of the Auditor General of Canada, the employment insurance account has been fully integrated into the overall finances of the Government of Canada as the government controls the parameters of the EI program. Separating the EI fund from general revenues is one of the several proposals that Canadians made during the premium rate-setting consultations.

At this time, it would be premature to speculate on the outcome of any particular option raised during the consultation process before all options have been thoroughly assessed.

Question No. 254
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

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

Question No. 254
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Is that agreed?