House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Sarnia—Lambton
Ontario

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House a report from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the 53rd parliamentary seminar held in London, England from March 2 to 13, 2004.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

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 Canada-Japan interparliamentary group following the inaugural general meeting of interparliamentarians for social services held in Seoul, Korea in August 2003; the 12th annual meeting of the Asia Pacific parliamentary forum held in Beijing, China from January 12 to 14, 2004; and the co-chair's annual visit to Japan held in Tokyo, Japan from March 1 to 6.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present today, in both official languages, the second report on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food entitled “Canadian Livestock and Beef Pricing in the Aftermath of the BSE Crisis”.

As all of us here know that the issue of May 19 last year created a crisis which we have never seen before in this country. The committee has spent a great deal of time in looking into the issue and investigating it.

I thank all committee members on all sides of the House for their diligence in attending meetings and making it possible for us to present this report here this morning.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour this morning to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Health entitled “Opening the Medicine Cabinet First Report on Health Aspects of Prescription Drugs”.

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

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present the third report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts respecting the peer review report on the value for money practices of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Speaking to the report, on March 11, 2004, the Auditor General of Canada, Mrs. Sheila Fraser, together with assistant auditor general, Mr. David Rattray, appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to present the results of the February 2004 peer review of the Office of the Auditor General and to table a copy of the review and the Auditor General's management action plan.

In February 2003 the Auditor General asked the members of the international audit community if they would be interested in participating in a review of the office's value for money audit practices The purpose of the review was to assess the extent to which this practice was designed to reflect recognized standards of professional VFM audit practices and whether it was operating effectively to meet the office's goal of producing independent, objective and supportable information that Parliament could rely on to examine the government's performance and to hold it to account.

The peer review was formed in early 2003 to include members of the international audit community from the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands and France. The general accounting office of the United States participated as an observer. The peer review was conducted between June and November 2003 and was completed in February 2004.

Mrs. Fraser was pleased to announce to the committee that the results of the peer review were very positive. The report concluded that the office's VFM audit practice was suitably designed and operating effectively to achieve the office's value for money objectives. The peer review also identified a number of good practices in the office of the VFM process and quality management framework.

The peer review report also identified a number of opportunities for improvement in some of the office's value for money policies and practices, and suggested some possible areas of solution which the office should take into account to improve its VFM products.

Mrs. Fraser told the committee that her office would respond to these issues and table the office's management action plan for addressing the suggestions made by the peer review report.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Albert is aware of the rules. I do not know if he is reading the report or what, but he is supposed to give a very succinct explanation of the report, which is what the rules require, not the whole thing. I hope this is going to end very quickly because he has had quite a lot of liberty from the Chair on the matter already.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your indulgence but the Office of the Auditor General, as you know, is our servant and our officer and this is the first time that this kind of report has ever been done. This is a summary of the full document that I am tabling with this report. I have about three more paragraphs, Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence.

Both the peer review report and the management action plan are available at the office's website. Mrs. Fraser believed that it may be possible for the public accounts committee to table the report in the House of Commons, which of course I am doing.

Mrs. Fraser suggested that if the committee members wished to have the opportunity to examine the results, that it could be combined with the hearing, which we have done.

I am pleased to table this report on behalf of the Office of the Auditor General and on behalf of the public accounts committee. I commend the Auditor General for the fine work that she does on behalf of this House and, indeed, all Canadians.

Railway Safety Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-511, an act to amend the Railway Safety Act (visibility of railway equipment).

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to present my private member's bill today, though it is as a result of a tragedy in my riding that I do so.

Last November a car, in which a young man was a passenger, collided with the side of a freight train that was not equipped with proper retro reflective equipment and therefore was not visible to the driver of the car. As a result of that accident, I learned that less than one in five Canadian rail cars is so equipped.

Every working day in Canada there is a collision between a car and a train, every week someone is killed and every week a Canadian is seriously injured as a result.

What the bill would do, quite simply, is require that the companies apply the proper retro reflective equipment to the trains, that it be repaired and maintained regularly and replaced when it is damaged.

This is a common sense proposal, which I have discussed with members of each of the other parties in the House. I have consulted with the critics of each of the parties and they are in support of the motion. I have also consulted with the House leaders. I think you would find, Mr. Speaker, if you were to ask, that there would be unanimous consent for the bill to be deemed read a second time and forwarded to the committee for consideration.

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

Railway Safety Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to proceed with second reading at this time?

Railway Safety Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Railway Safety Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

An hon. member

No.

Dissolution of Parliament Act
Routine Proceedings

April 1st, 2004 / 10:10 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-512, an act to provide fixed dates for the election of members to the House of Commons and to amend the Constitution Act, 1867.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move first reading of this bill which would provide for fixed election dates for members of the House of Commons. The bill would effectively remove from a prime minister the right to call an election whenever and however he or she wanted. Instead, it would substitute a fixed date of every four years.

The bill obviously could not come at a more opportune time, with election speculation rife and the Prime Minister polling overnight and deciding at his personal whim whether and when Canadians have a right to exercise their most critical democratic rights.

It is not the way it should be. Elections should be held based on the interest of the Canadian people, not on the whims of a prime minister.

The current power of the Prime Minister stands at the heart of the democratic deficit. It has been criticized by Mr. Kent, the stalwart Liberal, and changed by a Liberal government in B.C.

Passage of the bill would fix this problem and go a long way to fixing the democratic deficit.

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

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 it is my privilege to present to the House a petition signed by 260 concerned constituents of mine in my riding of Cambridge.

The petitioners underscore that complete information on the health risks of abortion should be provided to all women when considering this action. The petitioners hold that physicians who perform abortions without the informed consent by the mother or perform abortions that are not medically necessary should face penalties.

Therefore, the petitioners request that Parliament support legislation calling for a woman's right to know, and I agree with them.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

The Speaker

I have chastised the hon. member before for this. If he persists, he will find he does not get recognized for presenting petitions and then he will really feel the pain.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have eight petitions to present today calling upon Parliament to recognize the institution of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

This topic has been the number one issue in my riding this past year. Combined, there are over 700 signatures.