House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was harassment.

Topics

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present two petitions today. The first petition is from residents of east Vancouver and other parts of Vancouver who are very concerned about the lack of affordable housing.

The petitioners call upon the federal government to make a major investment by dedicating 1% of the next federal budget to affordable housing and also reinvesting CHMC's surpluses, estimated at $667 million, into social housing and ensuring that federal funds allocated to British Columbia for housing are not diverted and there is accountability for these funds.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is from residents who are very concerned about the lack of accountability in our employment insurance program and the fact that there is a $47 billion surplus that has grown.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to change the rules so that when people have 360 hours they will qualify for entry level EI benefits anywhere in Canada, and that the benefit rate would be at 60% of normal earnings, with an increase in the maximum benefit duration to 50 weeks.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting five petitions, two of which are asking to have the unionized employees of the CBC presented with a fair collective agreement in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am also presenting a petition with regard to autism. The petitioners ask that the government amend the Canada Health Act and corresponding regulations to include therapies for children with autism.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the next set of petitions I am presenting asks the government to support the Vietnamese community in its growing network of faith and community groups to recognize the last group of Vietnamese boat people as refugees under the country of asylum class.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the final petition I am presenting is requesting a moratorium on seal hunting.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, as I have done three times already this week, I am presenting a petition on behalf of Canadians concerned about our adoption laws.

This petition was signed by citizens virtually from coast to coast: from Toronto, Ajax, Woodstock, Waterloo, London and Kitchener, Ontario; Pictou, Antigonish and many other smaller communities in Halifax; from Vancouver over on the west coast; and even from my home town of Fort St. John.

The petitioners want Parliament to take note that on average about 2,000 children are adopted from other countries each year and that children adopted by residents of the United States of America and Great Britain are granted automatic citizenship upon adoption, finalization and entry into the country, or on the date of the adoption order respectively.

Therefore the petitioners are seeking Parliament to immediately enact legislation to grant automatic citizenship to those minors adopted from other countries by Canadian citizens with the citizenship being immediately granted upon finalization of the adoption order.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

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

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

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-25, An Act governing the operation of remote sensing space systems, be read the third time and passed.

Remote Sensing Space Systems Act
Government Orders

September 30th, 2005 / 12:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

The member for Joliette has seven minutes left on questions and comments.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs has the floor.

Remote Sensing Space Systems Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Pickering—Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when the member spoke earlier, he minimized the impact of the amendment, which, beyond the Constitution, takes into account the need for provinces to be protected.

It seems that the member forgot or did not understand the wording of the changes made by the committee. I know that, for the member and his party, this all pertains to the broad issue of the impact on the provinces.

Nevertheless, beyond the Constitution, will he not agree that, with this amendment to the bill, the government has obviously taken steps to protect further the interests of the provinces. As far as jurisdictions are concerned, we have seen, in the past, that RADARSAT-1 has always provided the ability to share information with the provinces.

I know that the member has concerns. However, it seems to me that we even respect some overlapping, in accordance with the position of the provincial governments.

Perhaps we could also respond to another point, which was the subject of a debate initiated by the Bloc in November 2004. The Bloc was concerned that this bill would have an impact on the missile defence shield. Does that party still believe that the missile defence shield is related to this bill? Have our witnesses provided enough clarifications to the Bloc?

Remote Sensing Space Systems Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the last point of the question, we do think that the remote sensing technology used by RADARSAT-2 is not compatible with President Bush's missile defence shield project as we know it.

That being said, I would like to expand on what I said earlier. The agreement signed by Canada and United States in 2000, when Mr. Axworthy was minister, I believe, includes four sections but also appendices to which we did not have access. Maybe an indirect link to the missile defence shield is established in these appendices. However, considering the testimony of specialists, we believe that the remote sensing technology used by RADARSAT-2 could hardly be directly usable in the missile defence shield project.

We want to believe what the government told us when it said that we are not part of that project. If we were allowed to see the appendices of the 2000 agreement, I think that all doubts in that regard could be dissipated.

As for the provinces, I simply want to remind the parliamentary secretary that my colleague for La Pointe-de-l'Île proposed several amendments that were all rejected, including two on the jurisdiction of the provinces.

I will point out one of them. She had proposed that, in clause 8(1), at line 31, on page 4 — I went to check and the provisions are still the same — the following be added after “Forces” and before “Canada's conduct of international relations”: “jurisdiction of the provinces”. This amendment was rejected by the committee, on the initiative of the Liberal Party and the parliamentary secretary. We could have read instead: “--having regard to national security, the defence of Canada, the safety of Canadian Forces, jurisdiction of the provinces, Canada’s conduct of international relations--”. Consequently, we would have had a bill ensuring the respect of provincial jurisdiction.

I cannot go back on the facts. This amendment was rejected by the committee during the clause by clause study of Bill C-25 and at the time of the vote.

Not only was this amendment by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île rejected, but she had proposed a second amendment in the same vein, once again to clause 8(1) of Bill C-25, on page 5. That amendment was at line 23, in clause 8 (4) (c). The current bill, even amended, goes in the same direction. She had proposed the following: “the government of that country or the provinces of Canada--” However, this amendment was also rejected by the committee.

If the parliamentary secretary does not see any problem in the jurisdiction of the provinces being respected and their having priority access to remote sensing images, I have difficulty understanding why the Liberals and the parliamentary secretary rejected so fiercely both amendments by my colleague from Pointe-de-l'Île.

If we had been able to bring about these two amendments, most of our objections would have been put aside. Unfortunately, we cannot re-write history, and the government does not seem to have the required openness. Consequently, the Bloc Québécois will vote against Bill C-25.

Remote Sensing Space Systems Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the amendments the member just talked about would have had the same effect as the amendment that was adopted not only by the government but by all members of the committee, including the official opposition.

The most important question here does not refer only to satellites. The member opposite knows very well what happened in the past with the satellites as far as the sharing of data and the capacity to provide the required information is concerned. You cannot say that the provinces have not been consulted. This is quite simply a constitutional matter. Unless the member can propose a way to change the Constitution, I cannot do anything about it.

I can only assure him that the government has accepted what his party has proposed. I will read again, for the benefit of the member, the amendment that was accepted, in subparagraph 4(3)(c): “the interests of the provinces are protected”. I do not know what else the member is looking for.

I know that other elements have been associated with this bill, including the missile defence shield and the fact that the American government is monitoring business and private companies. This relates to Canadian interests. The member should answer to that.