House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was country.

Topics

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is from rural constituents in the communities of Buick and Cecil Lake.

These petitioners note that an effective national sex offender registry would be an invaluable resource that would assist police agencies with the investigation of sex crimes.

The petitioners note that provisions contained in the current government Bill C-23 are insufficient because they are neither compulsory nor retroactive.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation that would create an effective sex offender registry that would automatically include the names of all sex offenders in Canada.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from my constituents of Okanagan--Shuswap. The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of many constituents in the riding of Halifax, I am pleased to table a petition calling upon the government to adopt the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada as the very best prescription for Canada's ailing health care system.

The petitioners specifically request that the proposals of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada be considered a blueprint for immediate legislative and budgetary action.

This is very timely in view of the alarming signals coming from the member for LaSalle--Émard that reinvestment is not the order of the day with the future government.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting two petitions today signed by numerous citizens of my riding of Skeena. Both petitions insist that Parliament maintain the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today pursuant to Standing Order 36.

The first petition, signed by people in my riding of Elk Island, has to do with the abhorrence that my constituents have about the issue of child pornography. They call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I wish to present to the House today is signed by 222 individuals from my riding, mainly from Sherwood Park, who are concerned about the defence of marriage.

The petitioners are concerned about the lack of legislative and democratic process and about what is going on in Parliament. They urge Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. While thumbing through this petition, I also noticed that my wife's name is on it.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today on behalf of many Canadians. The petitioners recognize that home heating fuels are not a luxury in Canada and are a basic necessity of life. They are calling upon the government to remove the goods and services tax from the sale of home heating fuels.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I also have two petitions to present today from voters from Ontario across to Victoria. The petitioners call upon Parliament to take all means necessary to preserve and protect the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one woman and one man.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

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

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Questions on the Order Paper
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I will sum up quickly to give somebody else a chance to speak to the bill because I believe we have put our points clearly on the table.

This is a rush job to facilitate the incoming Prime Minister of the country. There is no other reason for changing the process. It takes time to ensure we have good voters lists to encourage many people, especially young people, who are never added to the lists. About 25% of the people under 30 years of age vote in this country, and that is a terrible figure. The reason for a lot of this is because they are never enumerated and nobody goes after them.

We should not worry about rushing this through. We must do it right and ensure it is good for the country, not just good for the incoming Prime Minister.

Questions on the Order Paper
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have a few minutes to speak to Bill C-49. It should be obvious to everyone in the country that this particular bill has only one purpose and that is to allow the new boundaries to be in place by April 1 instead of the day in August which it would normally be.

To have this bill in front of us now is simply a concession to the wannabe Prime Minister so that he can call an election early before people have a chance to really look at him and examine what he stands for and what his performance has been in the House of Commons. It is about an early election. That is really what it is about.

I certainly cannot object on the grounds of the fact that it gives Alberta a little more of the representation that it is entitled to by population. But I would like to talk about what is actually happening in the re-drawing of the boundaries.

I am in the Edmonton area and in Edmonton we were very distressed, all of us, when we went to the committee. I went the day of the hearings in Edmonton and I sat there all day to hear the presentations. Every presentation, save one, was against what the committee was doing. That one was from a town nearby that used to be in the Elk Island riding before the boundaries were changed in 1997. The only reason that presentation was put forward was so that the riding would have a member of Parliament who would now be physically closer to it. It is impossible to have all people close to their members of Parliament.

Instead of hearing all of those individuals, including the presentation from the city of Edmonton that said it would rather have six members of Parliament in the City of Edmonton who would represent the city than eight members of Parliament with divided interests, instead of listening to that message which it heard over and over, the committee decided in its report to give reasons why it should not hear this and so it was ignored.

Furthermore, it has changed the boundaries in such a way that we will now spend hours and hours sitting in our vehicles. Instead of having compact constituencies, it has divided them up into long, narrow constituencies so that we will spend hours in our vehicles instead of doing our work. I object to that very strenuously.

I will support this motion and vote for it in the end, but I want to urge the government to look seriously at this process because it seems to me that what is being done is politically motivated. How else can one explain arranging the constituencies so that it makes it more difficult for the member of Parliament to be an effective member of Parliament and spend good time with people in the riding? This is what has happened in this particular case and I really deplore it.

On the other hand, Elk Island will disappear. No longer will you be able to say, Madam Speaker, “the hon. member for Elk Island”. That riding will be gone according to the new boundaries and the new one will be called Edmonton--Sherwood Park, which is the main town in my riding. I may put in a suggestion to add another town which is not insignificant.

The fact of the matter is that we will do our very best as members of Parliament in the Canadian Alliance to represent the people in whatever ridings we get. We will work hard to do that, but I am really sad that this commission did so much damage in our effectiveness.

The riding where I now live extends 200 miles. It goes right alongside another one that is 200 miles long. Why should we have two members of Parliament waving at each other on the highway as they go back and forth to meetings in their ridings? That is a useless waste of a member of Parliament's time to just sit in a vehicle and drive. We have no other means of transportation there that can be used.

Questions on the Order Paper
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?