House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was newfoundland.

Topics

Points of Order

10 a.m.

The Speaker

I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised by the hon. member for Ahuntsic concerning remarks made by the hon. member for Central Nova during question period on October 29, 2004, where he made reference to “la famiglia libérale”.

When the matter was raised, I indicated I would take the matter under advisement, check the blues, and get back to the House if necessary. I have now done so and am prepared to rule on the question.

I have reviewed the tape of proceedings that day and it clearly shows that the hon. member for Central Nova used the expression “la famiglia libérale” in posing a question.

As hon. members know, there are few words in and of themselves that are not acceptable to the House to the point of being considered unparliamentary in any circumstances.

However, in dealing with unparliamentary language, as the House of Commons Procedure and Practice points out at, page 526:

—the Speaker takes into account the tone, manner and intention of the Member speaking; the person to whom the words were directed; the degree of provocation; and, most importantly, whether or not the remarks created disorder in the Chamber.”

As I recall, on Friday last there was some commotion caused by the question of the hon. member for Central Nova but, as I indicated to the House at the time, since the Chair was not actually familiar with the term famiglia , I had attributed the commotion to the usual high spirits that characterize exchanges during question period on Fridays.

However, after question period, the hon. member for Ahuntsic rose to take exception to the hon. member for Central Nova's use of language, arguing that the term famiglia used in the context of his question was language that she found unparliamentary and, moreover, that the term is offensive to Canadians of Italian origin, many of whom are her constituents.

I have now looked into the matter and I understand that the Italian word famiglia , meaning family, in the context of popular culture, is an indirect reference to organized crime, specifically the Mafia, a criminal organization that originated in Sicily but eventually became established internationally. In light of this new information, the Chair can appreciate why the hon. member for Ahuntsic has raised her objections.

I ought not to have to remind colleagues of the need to refrain from using words that might cause disorder, let alone using language in a way that might give offence to a particular ethnic group.

I understand, of course, that question period especially is one of those times when partisan feelings can run high and members quite enjoy exchanging barbs. However I would urge all hon. members to be very prudent in their choice of words. Strong language can still be temperate and respectful.

Accordingly, in this instance, the Chair has concluded that the remarks of the hon. member for Central Nova, taken in context, go beyond the limits of what is permissible. The hon. member did rise in response to the complaint of the hon. member for Ahuntsic and made a partial withdrawal with respect to certain persons. However the Chair does not find that to be sufficient in the circumstances and so I would ask the hon. member for Central Nova to withdraw his remarks completely so that we can bring this issue to a close.

Points of Order

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, as I did instantly, I unreservedly withdraw the remark as I did previously.

Privacy Commissioner
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2003 report of the Privacy Commissioner. This important report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

A message from Her Excellency the Governor General transmitting supplementary estimates (A) of sums required to defray expenses of the Public Service of Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, was presented by the President of the Treasury Board and read by the Speaker to the House.

Order in Council Appointments
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table a number of orders in council recently made by the government.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the fourth part of the 2004 ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held in Strasbourg, France, October 4 to 8, 2004.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage relating to copyright reform raised in the first report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in the third session of the 37th Parliament, entitled “Interim Report on Copyright Reform”.

I also have the honour to present in both official languages the first report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the Canadian broadcasting system mentioned in the second report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in the second session of the 37th Parliament and entitled “Our Cultural Sovereignty: The Second Century of Broadcasting”.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

In accordance with the order of reference of Friday, October 15, 2004, your committee has considered Bill C-6, an act to establish the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and to amend or repeal certain acts and, as agreed on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, to report it with amendments.

Canada Elections Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-261, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voter and candidate age).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill which seeks to increase the participation of youth in Canada's electoral system.

The bill would lower the federal voting age to 16 so that young people could learn to be active electors while they are still in school. Unlike previous bills on this subject, it would keep the age to be a candidate at 18.

I urge all members to support the bill. I am happy to work with members of all parties to make the bill a reality.

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

National Veterans Funeral Honours Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-262, an act respecting funeral honours to veterans.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to introduce my private member's bill, an act respecting funeral honours to veterans.

The purpose of the bill is to recognize the great sacrifice of the men and women who served in Canada's armed forces. The legislation would provide for a military guard of honour to provide the dignity and respect our veterans deserve.

Currently various regiments provide some benefits to their comrades on an ad hoc basis. The bill would provide recognition for service by a grateful nation.

An advisory council to the Minister of Veterans Affairs recently recommended improved funeral and burial benefits for veterans. Therefore it gives me pleasure to recognize their work and complement their recommendations with this bill.

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

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Louis-Hébert, QC

moved for leave to present Bill C-263, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (replacement workers).

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud to introduce an anti-scab bill this morning. Its purpose is to ban the use of strikebreakers by companies under federal jurisdiction.

René Lévesque gave Quebec such legislation in 1977. It is high time to fill the gap left by the Canada Labour Code. In particular, this bill is intended to avoid any more labour conflicts involving intimidation and violence. Examples of these are Vidéotron, Cargil, Sécur and Radio-Nord.

The intention of this bill is to civilize labour relations in the event of strikes or lockouts. I would invite all members of this House to support this totally non-partisan bill, in order to eliminate the use of scabs, which is still permitted by the Canada Labour Code.

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

Agricultural Supply Management Recognition and Promotion Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-264, an act for the recognition and promotion of agricultural supply management.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a private member's bill dealing with supply management.

The purpose of this bill is to establish and implement the Government of Canada's policy respecting agricultural supply management. Simply put, it is intended to recognize and promote supply management, and ensure that supply management is preserved in Canada.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-265, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of United States social security payments to Canadian residents).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my first measure designed to restore tax fairness to those seniors living in Canada who collect U.S. social security as the basis of their retirement income.

These seniors, living not only in my riding of Essex and in the immediate region of Windsor, Ontario, but also living in communities from British Columbia to Quebec, and to New Brunswick, have waited nine years to see legislation introduced to roll back a 70% tax increase imposed upon them after they had already retired.

Sadly, thousands of these proud Canadians of modest and low income have passed away before ever seeing this measure introduced. Many years ago I pledged to these seniors that I would never forget their struggle to survive when I finally reached elected office in our Parliament. I have kept my word to them.

This is for Olive Smith, Bill Thrasher, Joan Eikre and others who have waited patiently. In the spirit of successful amendments to the throne speech, I urge my colleagues from all parties in the House to enthusiastically support restoring tax fairness to our retired seniors.

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

Memorial Cross Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-266, an act to provide for the issuance of the Memorial Cross as a memento of personal loss.

Mr. Speaker, as all Canadians know, when an armed forces person dies in the line of duty, the mother of that victim receives the Memorial Cross as a symbol of her sacrifice for all of Canada.There is another person who also suffers a great loss and that is the father of the armed forces member. This bill aims to extend the Memorial Cross award so that not only the mother, but the father of the soldier, airman or crew who dies in the line of duty is also recognized by the sacrifice.

As we know, the grief of the mother is not to be diminished in any way, but the grief of the father is as equal. I believe it is now time in the modernization of our country to allow both parents to receive the Memorial Cross as a symbol of their great sacrifice to all of Canada.

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

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege this morning to table a petition bearing dozens of signatures from the riding of Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

The petitioners are calling for a raise in employment insurance benefits given the fact that many workers in my region are seasonal workers and they are currently going through an unprecedented crisis period in the softwood lumber industry, in particular. It is especially appropriate since the government keeps putting off fair reform of employment insurance in order to adequately support workers.

That is why, through this petition, we are calling on the federal government to end the transitional measures, raise benefits for workers and adopt a universal employment insurance plan.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to once again submit a petition from the constituents of Yorkton--Melville. Despite the government's attempts to downplay the importance of the issue of traditional marriage, it continues to be a huge concern.

The constituents call the attention of Parliament to the fact that in 1999 a vote was taken to preserve the traditional definition of marriage, but a recent court decision has redefined marriage contrary to the wishes of Canadians. Now the government wants Parliament to vote on new legislation but only after it has been approved by the Supreme Court. This is a dangerous new precedent for democracy in Canada. Elected members of Parliament should decide the marriage issue, not appointed judges.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to immediately hold a renewed debate on the definition of marriage and to reaffirm, as it did in 1999, its commitment to take all necessary steps to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.