House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transport.

Topics

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

October 18th, 2004 / 3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-215, an act to amend the Criminal Code (consecutive sentence for use of firearm in commission of offence).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill entitled an act to amend the Criminal Code (consecutive sentence for use of firearm in commission of offence).

The bill would require that a sentence for the commission of certain serious offences be supplemented if a firearm is used. The additional sentence would be served consecutively to the other sentence and there would be a further minimum punishment of five years imprisonment if the firearm is not discharged, 10 years if it is discharged and 15 years if it is discharged and as result a person, other than an accomplice, is caused bodily harm.

As a former OPP officer, I fully agree with the bill. I hope it will earn the support of all of my esteemed colleagues in the House.

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

Louis Riel Act
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-216, an act respecting Louis Riel.

Mr. Speaker, coming from the province of Manitoba, I am pleased to introduce this private member's bill regarding Louis Riel.

The bill seeks to reverse the conviction of Louis Riel for high treason and to recognize and commemorate his role in the advancement of Canadian Confederation and the rights and the interests of the Metis people and the people of western Canada, and to call him a father of Confederation.

I am pleased to introduce the bill on behalf of the many Metis people in the province of Manitoba and elsewhere in the country.

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

Canada Pension Plan
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-217, an act to amend the Canada Pension Plan (early pension entitlement for police officers and firefighters).

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of police officers and firefighters across the country, the bill seeks to amend the Canada pension plan legislation so that contributions can be made in such a way that it would more accurately reflect the fact that firefighters and policemen often take early retirement at age 50 rather than 55.

Therefore, in this way, in the years between age 50 and 55, they would be able to make contributions at a higher rate during their working years and would not have to pay a penalty to achieve the early retirement age.

We submit the bill on behalf of the many firefighters and police officers who have made representation seeking this simple amendment. We point out that it is not a cost factor to the plan, that the extra time would be made up by extra contributions by the employee and the employer during their working life.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-218, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (deductibility of expense of tools provided as a requirement of employment).

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of fellow tradesmen across the country, I am introducing the bill to amend the Income Tax Act which would allow for the deduction of the cost of providing tools necessary for their work, if they are required to do so as a condition of employment at their workplace.

I point out that tradesmen who are self-employed already have the right to deduct the tools of their trade but employees anywhere who need to buy certain tools to do their work should be allowed to deduct that as a tax deduction just as a business person is allowed to enjoy that same tax deduction.

I am pleased that the hon. member for Windsor West is seconding the bill to allow the deductibility of the expense of tools when those tools are necessary as a condition of employment for any working person in Canada.

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

Canada Business Corporations Act
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-219, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (qualification of auditor).

Mr. Speaker, the bill I am introducing today seeks to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act dealing with the qualifications of auditors. It calls for the complete independence of auditors. So we can trust the financial statements of the companies where many of our pension plans are invested, we want to ensure that the auditor auditing the financial statements is completely independent of the company.

In other words, it would preclude the auditor or auditing firm from selling any other financial services to the same company. The financial contractor should not be able to give tax advice to the company and also serve as the auditor of the company's books. We believe it is a direct conflict of interest.

We believe this is a very important and timely bill if we are to trust the financial statements of the companies in which we invest.

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

Food and Drugs Act
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-220, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (trans fatty acids).

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce this bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act in regard to trans fatty acids or hydrogenated vegetable oils as they are known in their scientific term.

We now know that these trans fatty acids are terribly harmful for people. Yet when we brought this to the attention of the minister of health, her reaction was that the government would put in mandatory labelling, but not ban these products outright. In other words, it is all right to put poison in our foods as long as it is properly labelled.

The bill seeks to eliminate trans fats from our diet. They are harmful to our children. They increase the rate of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Just one gram per day of these toxic substances is enough to increase the risk of heart disease by 15% to 20%.

This is an important bill that will save lives.

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

Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-221, an act to prohibit the export of water by interbasin transfers.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this bill as a very timely and topical issue, and that is to outlaw and ban the interbasin transfer of water and the bulk sale of water.

This is an issue of national and international prominence. It comes to the public's consciousness every once in a while when people have the crazy idea that perhaps we should co-modify and commercialize water and begin to sell this precious resource as any other marketable commodity.

It is bad for the environment. It is bad for ecosystems. It is bad public policy to put this necessary life giving substance on the open market with other commercialized commodities. It is especially dangerous in light of NAFTA. Once we commercialize water by selling it in any form or substance, it becomes subject to the provisions of the free trade agreement.

I urge broad support from my fellow colleagues in the House of Commons to outlaw and prohibit the export of water by interbasin transfers.

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

Canada Business Corporations Act
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-222, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (annual financial statements).

Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief on this bill. It is again an effort to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act. With specific reference to auditors, information regarding any other professional services offered by the auditor to the corporation must be clearly cited in the annual financial statements of that company so shareholders are made aware that there could be a conflict of interest in the event that a financial institution is selling financial services to the same company that are of an audit and non-audit nature.

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

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-223, an act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (unpaid wages to have first priority in distribution).

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague from Windsor West, who was good enough to second this bill, says, this bill is all about justice. In the event of a bankruptcy, the bill would put the wages of workers as a top priority in terms of those people who might get the shares of the assets of the bankrupt company. Currently, there are 10,000 bankruptcies per year. Over $2 billion is left owing to workers in back wages, pension contributions and benefits.

We believe there should be broad support for this idea. Even the owners of the bankrupt companies should be pleased to see that debts to their employees would be realized and made good upon after the fact, when the assets of the company are divided up. I believe unpaid wages should have first priority in distribution, not sixth, or seventh or eighth priority as is currently the case.

It is a matter of simple justice, and I encourage all members of Parliament to read the bill and hopefully see fit to vote with me to do something for Canadian workers who are left holding the bag when companies go bankrupt, as is so often the case.

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

Referendum Act
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-224, an act to amend the Referendum Act (reform of the electoral system of Canada).

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Windsor West again. He has played an equal role in putting forward a great number of the bills today. It is a very aggressive legislative package coming from the NDP.

With the bill, we seek to amend the Referendum Act to allow a referendum to be held on any question related to the reform of the electoral system in Canada. I raise this, given the reference in the Speech from the Throne and the amendments to it, which passed unanimously today, in contemplation that the House of Commons may in the very near future cause a referendum to happen on the issue of how we elect our governments in Canada.

In anticipation of that progressive move by the House of Commons, I urge members to contemplate passing this enabling legislation, which would allow a referendum to be held across the country, without any subsequent amendments made to any other acts, to hopefully review the way we elect members of Parliament in Canada.

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

Business Development Bank of Canada Act
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-225, an act to amend the Business Development Bank of Canada Act and the Canada Student Loans Act to provide for a student loan system that is more supportive of students.

Mr. Speaker, I introduce this bill on behalf of the many students who are struggling under crippling debt loads to achieve their post-secondary education. Some of the pages in our House of Commons today may be in that group of students.

This idea is in recognition of rising tuition costs. The purpose is to establish the Business Development Bank of Canada as a lender of guaranteed student loans, to provide that student loan interest rates are set at the same rate of inflation for the previous year and are set annually by the Business Development Bank of Canada. This would ensure that students and persons still paying off student loans would have reasonable financing, that they would not be subject to the vagaries of the free market that deals with interest rates in other sectors and that they would not be unduly burdened by their debt after completing their education.

Persons who have existing loans from the lenders previously set up by the Canada Student Loans Act would be able to apply for loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada to pay them off and then would be covered by the new interest provisions set by the bill and reset on an annual basis.

This would be good for students and I hope members take note of that and see fit to vote for it when the time comes.

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

Proportional Representation Review Act
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-226, an act to provide for a House of Commons committee to study proportional representation in federal elections.

Mr. Speaker, once again on the subject of electoral reform, which was referenced in the Speech from the Throne and again in the amendments to the Speech from the Throne, the purpose of the bill is to provide for the consideration of proportional representation as one of those electoral reforms options in the House of Commons.

If the bill is enacted, a standing committee of the House will be designated to consider the matter and to report with recommendations after public hearings across the country. At that time, a referendum may be held in concert with the other bill I introduced. The question shall be put as to whether electors favour replacing the present system with a system proposed by the committee as concurred in by the House of Commons. The referendum must then be held at the same time as the next general election.

There is broad support and interest for revisiting our electoral system. We believe proportional representation is a model that should be studied carefully by the House of Commons. We believe the time to do it is at the next general election when a referendum question would be added to the ballot to change the system of how we elect our members thereafter.

Most parties support proportional representation. Some parties are more narrow-minded in their scope, but we would hope that people are interested in this issue here.

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

Labour Market Training Act
Routine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-227, an act to provide for the establishment of national standards for labour market training, apprenticeship and certification.

Mr. Speaker, I submit this bill in reaction to the devolution of labour market training to the provinces which has left us with an unequal and uneven regime in terms of apprenticeship and other labour market training.

As a journeyman carpenter I can say that curriculums are different in every province in the country. It does not serve industry well that persons who get their journeyman papers in Nova Scotia do not have the equal training when they move to British Columbia to get a job in that province.

Recognizing the mobility of Canada's workforce, this bill would put in place national standards for the entrance requirements to the apprenticeable trades and national standards for the curriculums in each of the trades. It would also seek to create a national advisory committee for each of the skilled trades to keep those curriculums up to date and current. This national advisory board would have labour, industry and government representation.

The bill seeks to fill a glaring void left behind by the government's hasty devolution of labour market training powers to the provinces. This would remedy some of the gap in our human resources strategy as it pertains to labour market training, other than post-secondary education.

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

Pension Ombudsman Act
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-228, an act to establish the office of Pension Ombudsman to investigate administrative difficulties encountered by persons in their dealings with the Government of Canada in respect of benefits under the Canada Pension Plan or the Old Age Security Act or tax liability on such benefits and to review the policies and practices applied in the administration and adjudication of such benefits and liabilities.

Mr. Speaker, I have introduced this bill today to create the office of a pension ombudsman simply in response to the overwhelming volume of casework that members of Parliament deal with at their offices of frustrated Canadians who have nowhere to turn with their valid and legitimate grievances associated with the administration of the Canada pension plan, the OAS or the GIS.

We believe it is due to the hasty cutbacks to the civil service during the 1990s and we believe that an unfair burden has been placed on members of Parliament with no corresponding budget to provide service to Canadians.

The purpose of this bill is to establish the office of a pension ombudsman whose function it would be to assist persons dealing with the Government of Canada in respect of benefits under the Canada pension plan, the Old Age Security Act or tax liabilities in cases where they are dealt with unfairly or unreasonably, or with unreasonable delay, which is often the case. Even if someone can get access to service, the delays are so unreasonable that it is truly justice denied.

The ombudsman would investigate complaints and report on complaints that were not satisfactorily resolved. The reports may be referred to the relevant minister as to the specific details of these complaints. The ombudsman would provide great comfort to the many Canadians who are frustrated by the bureaucratic logjam of trying to have their complaints dealt with in any kind of reasonable timeframe.

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

Energy Price Commission Act
Routine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-229, an act to establish the Energy Price Commission.

Mr. Speaker,I want to thank my seconder on this bill, the member for Sault Ste. Marie. We rise today to introduce this bill to address the spiralling, out of control and out of whack, costs of energy, home heating fuel and gasoline. On behalf of Canadians everywhere, we seek to find some remedy, some way to give comfort to Canadians who are being kicked in the teeth once again by their energy costs.

This bill seeks to create the energy price commission to regulate the wholesale and the retail costs of motor fuels including gasoline, diesel, propane, heating fuel and electric power.

The purpose of price regulation is to avoid unreasonable increases that affect the cost of living and keep businesses down. Frankly, Canadians have a gut feeling that they are being gouged. I am here to say that they are being gouged by unreasonable rip-off prices by oil cartels.

This bill would provide reasonable consistency in prices. This commission would set prices for a six month period. If the oil prices wanted to raise those prices, they would have to go before this national commission and justify why increases in oil and gas prices were justified, and then lock in for six months so that small businesses and homeowners could have some stability and some ability to cope with these costs for energy that are often out of their control.

I think there will be broad national support for this idea of an energy price commission. People in Calgary and Edmonton may be somewhat concerned, but I can assure members that this is not a national energy plan. This is a national price commission to assist Canadians so that they are not ripped off every year when it comes to gas and home heating fuel costs.

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