House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Madam Speaker, my second petition has 60 signatures. It is from a number of seniors in my riding calling on Parliament to change the Income Tax Act. They want it changed to allow spouses to pay taxes as if the total family income were earned equally.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Madam Speaker, my third petition consists of 45 signatures. It deals with opposition to the Great Lakes water diversion. The petitioners ask that all the people of Canada condemn the annex 2001 agreement between the eight northern states and Ontario and Quebec to stop water diversions and protect the Great Lakes.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Madam Speaker, my fourth petition asks that Canadians b e provided with greater access to non-drug preventive and medicinal options. The petitioners support Bill C-420, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Madam Speaker, the final petition I have the great honour to present is on behalf of the health critic, the member for Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia. It calls on the government to secure federal funding targeted specifically to juvenile type 1 diabetes research and to provide $25 million a year for the next five years.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Madam Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present two petitions on behalf of a number of citizens who live in my riding of Palliser, most of whom are from Avonlea and Cardross, Saskatchewan.

The petitioners wish to call to the attention of Parliament that the Liberal government imposed a moratorium on post office closures in 1994 and yet a number of rural post offices have been closed. Canada Post considers rural post offices to be a heavy burden on its bottom line and is reviewing rural post offices in communities the size of Avonlea and Cardross for closure.

The closure of rural post offices threatens the continued viability of many rural communities. The petitioners call upon the government to keep its moratorium promise and keep the Avonlea and Cardross post offices open.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first calls on the government to recognize the last group of Vietnamese boat people as refugees under the country of asylum class and allow the resettlement of some 500 individuals on humanitarian and compassionate grounds during the 2005-06 fiscal year. These signatories are from across Canada.

The second petition asks Parliament to increase the quotas for parental sponsorship admissions and reduce time for sponsorship applications.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, I take pleasure in tabling more petitions on behalf of Canadians urging the government to move decisively toward an international aid target of 0.7% of GDP and triple its contribution to the global fund to fight HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria.

It seems like a particularly appropriate day on which to do this when the Minister responsible for CIDA, before the foreign affairs committee, has just made it clear that either the government does not have a plan for moving toward 0.7% or if it does, it is not telling Canadians or our global partners.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, these petitioners state that the International Joint Commission, which administers the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes water quality agreement, recommended in 1992 that Canada and the United States develop a timetable to sunset the use of chlorine in the Great Lakes watershed. Forcing campgrounds, restaurants, trailer parks and rural churches to chlorinate their drinking water, which will cost thousands of dollars that they do not have, violates this federal chlorinated substances action plan and international agreement.

Since there is no scientific evidence that the basis of the chlorinated water effluence being added to the list of toxic substances is being paid attention to, the petitioners call upon Parliament to instruct the federal environment minister to impose a moratorium on the expanded use of water chlorination in small, rural applications until other alternatives have been studied.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, I already tabled one petition. I want to table two additional petitions, different from each other but on the same subject. They deal with missile defence and weapons in space.

The petitioners are calling upon Canada to: first, maintain the multilateral approach to security and reaffirm this country's support for non-proliferation arms control and disarmament; second, reject any and all plans for weapons of war in space, including any plans for missile defence; and third, seek Canada's withdrawal from any discussion of or participation in missile defence and the weaponization of space.

This is reflecting the fact that Canadians are very worried about whether the government will drag us into missile defence through the talks that seem to be ongoing as there is no acknowledgement by the government with respect to future participation through Goose Bay.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

June 21st, 2005 / 11:35 a.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 150 and 152.

Question No. 150
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

With respect to the implementation of sections 35, 37 and 40 of the Firearms Act by the Canada Border Services Agency: ( a ) how many person years have been allocated to this activity for the fiscal year 2004-05; ( b ) how many person years will be allocated for each of the next five fiscal years; ( c ) what is the total amount that has been spent for the fiscal year 2004-05; ( d ) what is the total amount that will be allocated for each of the next five fiscal years; ( e ) what activities does the implementation of these sections entail; and ( f ) what are the potential risks to public safety and national security resulting from the diversion of human and financial resources from activities such as the pursuit of smugglers, terrorists, illegal immigrants, illegal guns, drugs, explosives, and other contraband?

Question No. 150
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

With respect to the implementation of sections 35, 37 and 40 of the Firearms Act by the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, only section 35 is in force and administered by the CBSA at this time. Consequently, in response to

(a), 28.71 person years have been allocated to section 35 activities for the fiscal year 2004-05.

In response to (b), approximately 26 person years will be allocated for section 35 activities in the fiscal year 2005-06. This amount will remain the same for each of the next four fiscal years if there is no change in responsibilities. If sections 37 and 40 of the Firearms Act come into force during that time, additional resources would be required from the Canada Firearms Centre, CAFC, on a cost recovery basis. The amount is to be negotiated.

In response to (c), $1,837,381 has been spent on section 35 activities in the fiscal year 2004-05.

In response to (d), $1,700,000 will be allocated for section 35 activities in the fiscal year 2005-06. This amount will remain the same for each of the next four fiscal years if there is no change in responsibilities. If sections 37 and 40 of the Firearms Act come into force during that time, additional resources would be required from the CAFC on a cost recovery basis. The amount is to be negotiated.

In response to (e), under section 35 of the Firearms Act, the CBSA processes firearms declared by unlicensed non-residents. This entails determining the class of firearm being imported, including its import requirements; confirming the authorization to transport, if required; ensuring that the importer and firearm information matches that on the non-resident firearm declaration form, Form CAFC 909; collection of a confirmation fee, which is subsequently transmitted to the CAFC; holding the firearm for a period of time if not all legal requirements have been met; and processing the export or destruction of the firearm if ultimately the importer is not entitled to import it to Canada. Amendments to section 35 not yet in force would also require the CBSA to process those non-resident importers who have received a report from the Registrar of Firearms in advance of the importation, which for those importers takes the place of the non-resident firearm declaration.

Under section 37 of the Firearms Act, the CBSA will not need to perform any activities, as it will not be required to process unlicensed non-residents exporting their firearms.

Under section 40 of the Firearms Act, the CBSA will process licensed individuals importing firearms. This entails determining the class of firearm being imported, including its import requirements; confirming the authorization to import; confirming the authorization to transport, if required; if the firearm is not registered, ensuring that the importer and firearm information matches that on the authorization to import, which is subsequently transmitted to the CAFC; informing the registrar of the impending importation; holding the firearm for a period of time if not all legal requirements have been met; and processing the export or destruction of the firearm if ultimately the importer is not entitled to import it to Canada.

In response to (f), the overwhelming majority of all resources used by the CBSA to implement sections 35, 37 and 40 of the Firearms Act are provided by the CAFC on a cost recovery basis. Consequently, any diversion of CBSA resources as a result of administering those sections on behalf of the CAFC is negligible.

Question No. 152
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey North Nova, NS

With regard to those fatal and serious automobile accidents in Canada between 1995 and 2005, where alcohol or “driving under the influence” was a factor in these accidents: ( a ) how many conditional releases have been granted by the government to individuals who have caused serious or fatal automobile accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol, (i) by province, (ii) by age demographic, (iii) by gender, and (iv) by year; ( b ) is the Department of Justice considering, or will it consider reducing the legal alcohol content of blood from 0.8% to 0.5% so that there can be a further reduction of the fatality rates in Canada; and ( c ) is the Department of Justice considering the impounding of vehicles from those individuals found to be driving under the influence of alcohol?

Question No. 152
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

In response to (a), before 1997, Parliament did not make available to sentencing courts the possibility of a conditional sentence of imprisonment. They first begin to appear in the statistics from the Adult Criminal Court Survey of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics in the year 1998-99. Between 1998-99 and 2003-04 there were 38 conditional sentences given in cases of impaired driving causing death and 350 conditional sentences given in cases of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

(i) By province: B.C. death 7, bodily harm 35; Alberta death 7, bodily harm 57; Saskatchewan death 4, bodily harm 22; Ontario death 19, bodily harm 165; Quebec death 0, bodily harm 0; New Brunswick death 1, bodily harm 11; P.E.I. death 0, bodily harm 0; Nova Scotia death 0, bodily harm 5; Newfoundland and Labrador death 0, bodily harm 29; Yukon death 0, bodily harm 4; and Northwest Territories death 0, bodily harm 0.

(ii) By age of person conditionally sentenced: 18 to 24: death 13, bodily harm 110; 25 to 34: death 10, bodily harm 102; 35 to 44: death 6, bodily harm 78; 45 to 54: death 6, bodily harm 38; 55 plus: death 2, bodily harm 17; age unknown: death 1, bodily harm 5.

(iii) By gender: male: death 33, bodily harm 287; female: death 3, bodily harm 18; sex unknown: death 2, bodily harm 0.

(iv) By year:

1998-99—death 3, bodily harm 22

1999-2000—death 3, bodily harm 42

2000-01—death 5, bodily harm 38

2001-02—death 4, bodily harm 80

2002-03—death 12, bodily harm 78

2003-04—death 11, bodily harm 90

Justice Canada Research Section, with the cooperation of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, was able to provide the above information. The raw data exists with the Adult Criminal Court Survey but a special run was required to obtain the data on conditional sentences for impaired driving serious cases. Statistical data for the year 2004-05 is not yet available. Up to 2000-01, the survey covered about 80% of the national caseload. Not included were: B.C., New Brunswick, Manitoba and Nunavut. Starting from 2001-02, the survey covers about 90% of the national caseload. Still not included are Manitoba and Nunavut. Also, data for Quebec represent 80% of the Quebec caseload and data for B.C .represent 95% of the BC caseload.

In response to (b), in January 2005 the Department of Justice sponsored a roundtable of key stakeholders to consider the issue of lowering the legal limit to 50 milligrams per cent of alcohol. There was agreement that this level represents an increased risk of crash. However, that risk is significantly lower than the risk at the current Criminal Code legal limit, which is 80 milligrams per cent. There was disagreement on the instrument that should be used to address the collision risk at the 50 milligrams per cent level with some advocating the use of Criminal Code provisions and others advocating the use of provincial traffic laws.

The Minister of Justice indicated in a meeting with representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving held on May 2, 2005 that he had not taken a fixed view on the question of lowering the Criminal Code legal limit from “exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol” to “exceeds 50 milligrams of alcohol”. He is willing to consider the views of those on both sides of this question. It is noted that all provinces, except Quebec, using their constitutional authority for licensing and highway safety, already have short provincial driving license suspensions imposed at the roadside, typically for those who exceed a provincially established limit of 50 milligrams. There is divided opinion on whether lowering the Criminal Code legal limit would reduce significantly alcohol involved fatality rates. There is concern from law enforcement and prosecutors that resources could be thinly stretched if a new cohort of drinking drivers, 51 to 80 milligrams of alcohol, is addressed by the Criminal Code. Others believe that resources required for criminal law enforcement against a new cohort of cases in the 51 to 80 milligrams range would be offset to some degree by some persons in the group of drinking drivers who otherwise would have been “in excess of 80” lowering their consumption as a result of a new legal limit and others who would have been in the 50 to 81 range also lowering their consumption.

In response to (c), The Criminal Code in section 490.1(1) already permits a court to order forfeiture of property used in an indictable offence. This section has been used in an impaired driving case in New Brunswick, R. v. Waite (2004) N.B.J. No. 455; NBPC 29. For impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm, the prosecution must proceed by indictment. For impaired driving, for driving “in excess of 80 milligrams of alcohol”, and for refusing to provide breath samples, the prosecution may proceed either by indictment or by summary conviction. There is no present plan to expand the forfeiture provision to include cases where the prosecution has chosen to proceed by summary conviction procedure. Nor is there any present plan to introduce amendments that would force police, as a Criminal Code measure, to impound the vehicle of a suspected impaired driver. Some provinces have chosen to use their constitutional head of legislative authority for “property and civil rights within the province” to enact vehicle impoundment legislation.

Questions Passed as Orders for Return
Routine Proceedings

11:35 a.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, if Question No. 140 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.