House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forces.

Topics

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) to table a report on the golden nematode situation in Quebec.

The second report I am tabling today is the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. In accordance with the order of reference of Tuesday, April 25, I am reporting the main estimates to the House.

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. The first is an initiative of the Maison d'accueil pour les sans-abri, and it concerns the SCPI program.

Approximately 1,025 people have signed this petition. I would also like to take this opportunity to say that the petition was put together by Sylvain Plourde, who obtained the signatures in support of this initiative.

It is unacceptable that we cannot help the homeless. I therefore ask the government, with this petition, to make permanent the SCPI program, which is due to end in March 2007.

The second petition concerns the organization of street workers and runs along the same lines. It asks the government to reinstate the SCPI program in order to help people who are homeless and need shelter.

Age of Consent
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of petitions to present.

One petition is signed by a number of people from my riding who are asking me to table this petition in the House in support of raising the age of consent to 16.

Automobile Industry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition signed by a couple of hundred people from across the country who want the government to revisit the whole question of our auto strategy and actually begin to deal with our auto industry in a way which indicates that the government appreciates the very important contribution it makes to our economy. The petitioners are calling on the government to act quickly and aggressively to develop an automotive trade policy that protects jobs and communities.

Copyright Act
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to bring forward to the House today two petitions.

The first is signed by people from right across this country in regard to developing new copyright legislation that recognizes the careful balance between the rights of the creator and fair public use. Given that digital technologies have recently given copyright holders the ability to upset the traditional balance in the Copyright Act by preventing Canadians from accessing works that they should have fair access to, the petitioners are asking Parliament to ensure that users are recognized as interested parties in any future copyright decisions and to ensure that any material changes in copyright legislation preserve the concept of fair use and the rights of users to fairly access works.

Automobile Industry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I would like to bring forward today concerns the need for an auto policy in Canada, particularly the rise in concern over current free trade negotiations with Korea and what that will do to our domestic auto market, because we are very dependent in this country on our auto industry. There has been major bleed-off in this sector and we are not seeing any replacements for the lost jobs.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to, first, cancel negotiations for this agreement with Korea, which would worsen the one-way flood of automotive products into our country, and second, to do as we in the New Democratic Party have called for some time, which is to create an automotive trade policy. Part of this would require Korea and other offshore markets to purchase an equivalent volume of finished autos from North America as a condition of its continued access to our market.

I am very pleased to present this to the House.

Automobile Industry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to present a petition from well over 100 individuals, many of them from southwestern Ontario in communities such as Windsor and London, which are being very hard hit by the lack of a strategy around auto policy in this country.

We have waited for a very long time, with many promises, but of course the result has been that we are losing auto manufacturing jobs throughout that region in devastating numbers. My most recent visit to the area underlined that with the thousands of jobs lost. The petitioners are calling for a cancellation of the negotiations for free trade with Korea, because this would preserve the one-way arrangement which currently is hurting our market as we cannot sell to Korea but their cars can come here. The petitioners are calling for a new auto policy for Canada so that we can actually enjoy a much more successful auto industry than we have been experiencing lately.

I am honoured to present this petition.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 89 will be answered today.

Question No. 89
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

With regard to the Canadian Heritage program announced in December 2002 that allocated $172.5 million in funding to establish and operate a new Aboriginal Languages and Cultures Centre: (a) what were the year-by-year funding totals to this program; (b) what was the status of this program when the current government came to power; (c) what funding changes have taken place since January 2006; (d) what, if any, future plans are there for this program; and (e) what initiatives is the governement currently undertaking to help preserve Aboriginal languages?

Question No. 89
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), in December 2002, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that she would invest $172.5 million over 10 years towards the preservation, revitalization and promotion of aboriginal languages and cultures. A ministerial Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures was appointed in 2003 to make recommendations on priorities for this investment.

To date, $12.5 million has been disbursed for the administration of the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures, $2.5 million, and for a two year extension of the current federal funding program, the aboriginal languages initiative, $5 million in 2003-04 and $5 million in 2004-05.

In response to (b), the program was in a holding pattern when the current government took office. Apart from the $12.5 million, the initial allocation of resources had not been accessed. The previous government had no plan on how to spend the money. Between 2003 and 2005, the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures consulted extensively with first nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada. The result of these consultations, and the collective knowledge of task force members themselves, culminated in the task force report “Towards a New Beginning”, which was released in July 2005.

In response to (c), in March 2006, an additional $5 million was committed to extend the aboriginal languages initiative for the 2006-07 fiscal year. This new money is permanent. The original $160 million had been earmarked by a previous government. However, the implementation was not completed. As announced in 2002, the funds remaining from this commitment were to have supported the creation of an aboriginal languages and cultures centre, with a mandate to provide support for all aboriginal languages. The current government is not of the view that this approach is the most appropriate means of working toward the revitalization and preservation of first nation, Inuit, and Métis languages. The $5 million in permanent funding will mean stable funding for aboriginal languages, while they are considered in the wider context of the new government’s approach to meeting the needs of aboriginal people. Through the aboriginal languages initiative, aboriginal communities across Canada have access to funding in support of activities to revitalize their languages. In 2005-06, this initiative provided funding to over 300 community-based aboriginal languages projects.

In response to (d), the Government of Canada recognizes that the revitalization of aboriginal languages will require working in partnership with aboriginal people. Department of Canadian Heritage officials are currently discussing approaches to support aboriginal languages with first nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations across the country.

In response to (e), Canadian Heritage invests approximately $4 million per year through language accords with the three territorial governments. These accords fund community-based language activities and support for programs working towards language revitalization in the territories.

Support for aboriginal languages and cultures is also provided through the northern aboriginal broadcast program. This program enables 13 northern aboriginal broadcasting societies to produce and distribute radio and television programming in seventeen aboriginal languages that is reflective of aboriginal cultures, community issues, concerns and current affairs. These communications societies serve over 400 communities in the three territories and the northern portion of seven provinces.

The Government of Canada is taking other action to improve the quality of life of aboriginal women, children and families, including the recently signed tripartite agreement with British Columbia and the B.C. First Nations Education Steering Committee. This historic agreement will enable children to receive a better quality education, and one with a strong cultural component.

This recent agreement builds on broader education-based language promotion activities taking place across government. For children, aboriginal head start includes culture and language as one of six program components. This preschool language foundation is strengthened with support provided by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to first nations schools for language learning in the K-12 classroom and curriculum development.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, through the cultural education centres program, supports 110 cultural centres which undertake work in communities across Canada that promote school-based language learning. The $8.7 million annual investment leads to the development of curricula for first nation schools that is more culturally relevant to first nation and Inuit student populations and that enhances cultural environment and understanding within communities. The program also supports activities that contribute to increased knowledge and use of traditional languages, increased development of linguistic learning resources and culturally oriented educational curricula.

Together, these initiatives have enabled first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to take steps to revitalize and promote their languages and cultures and will contribute to creating the conditions that enable them to participate fully in Canada’s prosperity.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 106 and 108 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Is it the pleasure of the House that Questions Nos. 106 and 108 be made orders for returns and that they be tabled immediately?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 106
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

With regard to the Canadian presence in Afghanistan: (a) what is the goal of the Canadian presence in Afghanistan; (b) what is the strategy employed by the government; (c) what are the tactics that are being used; (d) who is the enemy; (e) what is the operational centre of gravity of the enemy; (f) does the government have a political strategy to attain its goal; (g) is terrorism the greatest security threat that Canada faces; (h) does the government consider that Canada is at war; (i) what is the condition that the government would consider to be “civil war”; (j) what does the government deem to be the nature of counter-insurgency warfare and does this condition exist in Afghanistan; (k) what Canadian Forces (CF) manuals deal with counter-insurgency; (l) what are the current rules of engagement for the CF in Afghanistan; (m) what has been the change in rules of engagement since Canada left Operation Enduring Freedom; (n) is the government aware of the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan who help the Taliban; (o) if there are foreign fighters where do they come from on the whole; (p) what is the opinion of the government regarding the security of the Afghan border with Pakistan; (q) what is the opinion of the government regarding Pakistani cooperation in achieving the objectives of the mission; (r) does the government have an opinion as to when the goals of the Canadian presence will be achieved; (s) when was the decision to deploy a combat mission to Kandahar made by the government; (t) how well are CF capabilities matched to the conditions in the southern region of Afghanistan and to counter insurgency; (u) what is the size and configuration of task forces available for use in Afghanistan through to February 2009; (v) what has been the effect of increased training throughout the forces on the capability of these task forces; (w) how has the training of new recruits been effected by the extension of the mission until 2009; (x) does the CF use dogs in combat missions; (y) what are the protocols used in relation to dogs and civilians and detainees respectively; (z) would Canadian lawyers be allowed to contact and represent detainees while they are held by CF and, if not, what legal authority or doctrine would justify this refusal; (aa) is the arrangement concerning detainees of December 18, 2005, still the current policy of the Department of National Defence following the handover of command to NATO; (bb) what reconstruction projects are underway in Kandahar province under the supervision of the CF; (cc) are there any plans to increase the size of the Provincial Reconstruction Team before 2009; (dd) what is the government position with regard to support by the government of Pakistan, particularly the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence for the Taliban; (ee) what is the length and nature of extra training that is provided for CF personnel going to Afghanistan; (ff) what is the number of enemy captured since the CF arrived in Kandahar; and (gg) has the CF engaged Al Qaeda fighters since moving to Kandahar?