House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was war.

Topics

Business of the House

10 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among House leaders earlier this morning and I think you would find unanimous consent that at the conclusion of routine proceedings the House suspend until 10:30 a.m. in order to permit the party leaders to react to the situation in Iraq. That would be to suspend at the conclusion of routine proceedings, perhaps in five or ten minutes from now, until 10:30 a.m.

Business of the House

10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Business of the House

10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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 11 petitions.

Canada Airports Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-27, an act respecting airport authorities and other airport operators and amending other acts.

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

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

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 10

th

report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to the May 8, 2002 Report of the Auditor General of Canada, relating to three contracts awarded to Groupaction Communications.

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

Special Economic Measures Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-414, an act to amend the Special Economic Measures Act (no foreign aid to countries that do not respect religious freedom).

Mr. Speaker, religious freedom is an issue we take for granted in Canada. It is a fundamental freedom guaranteed in our Constitution. Yet our government gives taxpayer money to nations that do not share these same values.

Millions of dollars through CIDA go to regimes that tear down churches, burn bibles and imprison church leaders. I do not believe the taxpayers would approve of their money being used to prop up governments which wilfully ignore this basic right.

My bill would limit CIDA funding to intolerant nations that do not respect religious freedom.

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

Nuclear Liability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-415, an act to amend the Nuclear Liability Act.

Mr. Speaker, the Nuclear Liability Act, as it stands, now calls for operators to carry a minimum of $75 million in liability insurance. If damages beyond that amount occur, the federal government must cover the costs.

The amount of coverage is far below international standards.In its report dated June 2002 entitled “International Aspects of Nuclear Reactor Safety”, the Standing Committee of the Senate on Energy recommends:

--the government take immediate action to amend the Nuclear Liability Act, and increase and maintain the mandatory operator held insurance coverage...at an amount in line with the Paris and Vienna Conventions “over 600 million [Canadian] dollars.

The revised Paris convention would require that the minimum liability amount for operators be 700 million Euro dollars.

Therefore, in line with the Senate committees recommendation, international standards and in recognition of the unique risk associated with the nuclear industry, the bill seeks to amend the act to $1.1 billion Canadian.

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

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present signed by a number of constituents in my riding.

The petition refers to the working conditions and the pay of rural route mail couriers in Canada who, if their pay is measured on an hourly basis, often earn less than the minimum wage and whose working conditions are perhaps not what they ought to be.

The petitioners ask and pray that the House consider giving rural route mail couriers collective bargaining rights now or to allow their working conditions and their pays to be raised to levels that are equitable with those of other postal workers.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of the people of eastern Ontario, in particular White Lake, Braeside, Kinburn and Nepean, requesting that Parliament recognize that the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College is essential to training Canadians for emergency situations; that the facility should stay in Arnprior; and that the government should upgrade the facilities as promised in order to provide the necessary training for Canadians as first responders.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present this morning from a significant number of constituents in my riding calling upon Parliament to protect our children and take all necessary steps to ensure that all materials that promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

I think it is extremely important that Parliament recognize the concerns of our citizens and act accordingly.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 125 will be answered today.

Question No. 125
Routine Proceedings

March 20th, 2003 / 10:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

With respect to the Canadian Pension Plan and the Disability Pension (CPP): ( a ) what was the percentage increase for the year 2003; ( b ) how is the increase calculated; ( c ) what is the inflation rate for the year 2002; ( d ) is there a correlation between the inflation rate and the CPP increase; and ( e ) if not, what criteria does the Department of Human Resources and Development Canada use to justify increases and decreases to the CPP?

Question No. 125
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

In January 2003, Canada pension plan, CPP, including disability rates increased by 1.6%. This increase was based on the monthly average change in the Consumer Price Index, CPI—All items, compiled by Statistics Canada, for the 12 month period November 2001 to October 2002.

Although consumers paid 3.9% more in December 2002 than they did in December 2001 for the goods and services in the CPI basket, it should be noted that the CPI is a “snapshot” and the 3.9% quoted above reflects the change in the CPI between the index in December 2001 and the index in December 2002. The CPI experienced monthly increases and decreases during the year, i.e. goods and services became less expensive or more expensive throughout the year. CPP benefits are adjusted, increased, to even out fluctuations and take into account the average change, increase, in the CPI over a full 12 month period.

According to the latest release from the CPI, published by Statistics Canada on February 27, 2003, “…the annual average All items CPI increased 2.2%, a slightly slower rate of increase than the 2.6% observed for 2001”.

Canada pension plan benefit increases have a direct correlation to the CPI and are calculated in the following manner in accordance with the Canada Pension Plan Act and Canada Pension Plan Regulations: Every January, CPP benefit increases are based on the average CPI increase over the 12 month period, November to October, as compared to the same preceding 12 month period.

To determine the CPP increase for 2003, i.e. 1.6%, we calculated the average CPI between November 2001 and October 2002, 118.2, and divided it by the previous year’s average CPI. Between November 2000 and October 2001, the average CPI was 116.3. One hundred and eighteen point two, 118.2, divided by one hundred and sixteen point three, 116.3, equals 1.016. Expressed as a percentage, there was a 1.6% increase in the average CPI between 2000-01 and 2001-02 and this percentage was used to escalate the CPP rates.

It should be noted that where there is a decrease in the average CPI year over year, this will not result in a decrease in CPP benefits. Rates would not change for the year following the decrease. Rates are only adjusted upwards.

In a time when the rate of inflation is increasing, such as now, the resulting adjustment in benefits may be less than if a December to December comparison had been used. But this is not always the case. For example, if the December to December increase in the Consumer Price Index had been used for CPP benefits in January 2002, the benefits would only have been increased by 0.7%. Instead, using the method set out in the CPP legislation, the increase was 3.0%.