House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was process.

Topics

A message from Her Excellency the Governor General transmitting estimates of the sums required for the service of Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, was presented by the President of the Treasury Board and read by the Speaker to the House.

Main Estimates, 2006-07
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to be here today and to have transmitted to you the message of the Deputy of the Governor General.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

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-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the parliamentary seminar on Africa, Partnership Beyond 2005: The Role of Parliamentarians in Implementing the NEPAD Commitments, in London, U.K., October 19 to October 22, 2005.

Memorial Cross Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-226, An Act to provide for the issuance of the Memorial Cross as a memento of personal loss.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague from Winnipeg for supporting and seconding the bill. I also want to thank Lieutenant Pat Jessop and Mr. Tom Waters very much for their support of the bill.

What the bill would do is that when a soldier, air force or a navy personnel, or someone within our armed forces, dies in the line of duty, we issue the Memorial Cross or the Silver Cross to the mother or to the wife of that soldier.

What happens if a woman is killed in the line of duty? Her husband and her father would not have received the Silver Cross because it is based strictly on the fact that a woman, either the wife or the mother, would receive it.

We believe that it is time to modernize this medal and also present it to husbands and fathers. We believe that they grieve equally. We believe it is time to modernize this.

I do remind the House that this is something that nobody wishes to receive. In the end a person would have had to have lost a child in the service of his or her country. I believe it would show honour, sacrifice and dignity to all members of the family if husbands and wives, fathers and mothers equally received the Silver Cross in honour of their loved one's sacrifice to our glorious country.

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

Citizenship and Immigration
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I again stand in the House and have the duty to submit a petition on behalf of many people in Canada who stand in solidarity with undocumented workers being deported. I will continue to file petitions on their behalf until a just and humane solution is found to this issue.

Copyright Act
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of Canadians across the country with respect to the Copyright Act. The petitioners wish to properly recognize the careful balance between the rights of creators and the rights of the public, including viewers, readers and listeners.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure generally that users are recognized as interested parties and are meaningfully consulted while proposed changes are made to the Copyright Act and to ensure, in particular, that any changes at least preserve all existing users' rights.

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, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Federal Accountability Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

moved that Bill C-2, An Act providing for conflict of interest rules, restrictions on election financing and measures respecting administrative transparency, oversight and accountability, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the Minister of Public Safety, for seconding this landmark piece of legislation.

On January 23, Canadians elected a new government because they wanted change. Canadians said loudly and clearly that they wanted an open, honest and accountable government. They want their taxpayer dollars spent wisely and well.

I am proud of the efforts of my Treasury Board colleagues; my cabinet and caucus colleagues; the government House leader; my hard-working parliamentary secretary, the member for Nepean—Carleton; the many public servants across government led by Susan Cartwright; and the policy specialists and legal drafters who worked so hard to get the bill prepared for Parliament. I am also very proud of the leadership that the Prime Minister took in making big commitments and delivering to Canadians.

I am equally proud to see the bill go forward for second reading as the first item of business after the throne speech. The federal accountability act is about moving from a culture of entitlement to a culture of accountability. It is about making everyone in government more accountable to Canadians.

It has been said before by my leader, the Prime Minister, and I will say it again. As Conservatives we believe in public service, both in the ideal and in the institution. As Conservatives we believe in entrepreneurship and free spirit and we celebrate the critical role that the private sector and the profit oriented business play in the generation of wealth in the country.

However we also understand that our success as a nation depends on the critical role that must be played by government, especially by our national government. We need an effective federal government that is capable of getting things done for ordinary working Canadians and their families.

The goal of the federal accountability act is to improve the level of trust that Canadians have in their government and in their elected officials. We know that we have a long way to go to rebuild the public trust that was so egregiously violated by a slew of scandals that culminated in the Gomery commission.

A recent poll measured the level of trust that Canadians have in different professions. I am not surprised that at the top of the list were firefighters, nurses and farmers but politicians placed dead last right behind used car salesmen. We need to make real and concrete actions to address this problem head on and I believe that relationships are based on trust, and the federal accountability act is about rebuilding that trust.

Our government, the Prime Minister and me personally, believe and recognize that a strong and effective government requires strong and effective public servants. Already our government has brought a new approach to its relationships with the public service and it all starts with respect. Let me be clear that neither the Prime Minister nor any member of this caucus have blamed public servants for the political scandals that engulfed the previous administration.

The plan we are putting in place today for the Federal Accountability Act is comprised of several important components. We want to reform the financing of political parties, strengthen the role of the Ethics Commissioner, toughen the Lobbyists Registration Act and provide real protection for whistleblowers.

My colleague, the hon. parliamentary secretary, has worked hard on this. As members of Parliament from the national capital region, we are well aware of our public servants' need to be protected when they report certain situations.

We want to strengthen the access to information legislation and the power of the Auditor General. This is all very important.

These supports for whistleblowers are particularly important, and this is not to blame public servants. As we have seen far too often, members on the other side do. Because no public servant--

Federal Accountability Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Derek Lee

Get out of here. Stick to the issue.

Federal Accountability Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

It happened three times. Three times when I spoke on the federal accountability act, three Liberal members got up and blamed the public service. The blame game is over when it comes to our public service. I say for members opposite that no public servants woke up one day and dreamed of and decided how they would funnel money to the Liberal Party in Quebec. Those were political actors, not bureaucratic actors. No public servant had an interest in that. Those were political scandals. They were not bureaucratic scandals.

Federal Accountability Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Derek Lee

You don't know what you're talking about. Go back to Queen's Park.

Federal Accountability Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

It is very clear that the Liberals still do not get it. One of the members from Kitchener, one of the members from Scarborough and the member from Markham got up in this place and were bashing public servants, and I can tell members that workers in the capital are noticing that.

Federal Accountability Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

An hon. member

Why do they not like public servants?