House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-7.

Topics

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the simple answer is that the Conservatives and the Liberals are ideological twins when it comes to this stuff.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Oh, come on, that's shameful.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

They enjoy deregulation and giving the corporate citizen a break all the time at the expense of hard-working Canadians.

This is counter to its own department. I am reading from a story on the report put out by the Department of Transport with regard to the regulatory process. It states that “cutting the audit program could increase the chances that certain problems won't be detected, that airlines will--

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Fort McMurray—Athabasca on a point of order.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking further in relation to the point of order. I would like to refer the Speaker to page 637 of Marleau and Montpetit, the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which reads:

A hoist amendment must meet a number of requirements if it is to be ruled in order. The purpose of the amendment is to neutralize the word “now” in the motion for reading. It must therefore amend the motion for reading by eliminating all of the words following the word “That” and replacing them with the following proposition: “Bill (number and title) be not now read a second time but that it be read a second time this day three months (or six months) [as in this case] hence.” A hoist amendment requires no notice, may be debated and may not be amended.

I would caution the member for Burnaby—New Westminster. It is obvious he is wasting the time of the House, but if he is going to do so and make it so blatantly obvious, he should get off TV before he does the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, because everybody watching realizes it is a waste of time.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member just said, the NDP is not wasting time. In fact, what it is doing is taking this legislation very seriously and wanting to ensure that it has a full and thorough debate.

The member for Windsor West was very clear in his hoist motion. I as well would refer the Speaker to Marleau and Montpetit, at page 672, which makes it very clear that at third reading:

--the legislative process focusses on the final form of the bill. The amendments that are admissible at this stage are exactly the same as those that were admissible at second reading stage. It is in order to propose an amendment for a three- or six-month hoist....

That is exactly what the member did, because the NDP believes that this bill should not be further considered and should be put over.

This is entirely in order. I believe that the point of order just raised is not correct. I would urge you, Mr. Speaker, to take this into consideration and give regard to the fact that the NDP is moving this hoist motion in good faith, with good intentions and within the legislative process that is allowed in the House.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I will hear other points of order on this after questions and comments are finished, if the House does not mind. We have three minutes and 18 seconds left in questions and comments having to do with the speech of the hon. member for Windsor West.

The member for Burnaby—New Westminster had the floor when the point of order was raised.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did want ask the member for Windsor West a question, but I have to comment on some of the disgraceful gestures we have seen from the Conservative benches away from the camera lenses over the past few months. I find it difficult to believe that any Conservative member could try to lecture any opposition member of the House, given this past conduct in the House of Commons, which has been disgraceful.

We are talking about a very serious issue, one that leads to increased levels of insecurity in our air safety. I would hope Conservative members particularly would take the issue with the seriousness with which it should be debated.

If we are heightening secrecy and lowering air safety standards, we need to have good reasons for a debate to do it, and we have not heard that from the government's side.

My question for the member for Windsor West is this. Why would the Liberals support bad legislation? We know the Conservatives are throwing this forward and essentially giving a “get out of jail free card” to corporate CEOs, but why are Liberals supporting bad legislation that will lead to increasing insecurity in Canadian skies?

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will not dare try to crawl into the context of the Liberal mind. It is far too scary, even on Halloween, to consider what is actually in that dark chamber.

However, what I have seen in the House is the Liberals being a sidekick to the Conservative government and providing it with all the unfettered tools necessary to bulldoze anything it wants down the general system.

The type of situation evolving here is one which I think the Conservatives are quite happy to be engaged in, quite frankly. At least something is happening on bills they had professed, brought forth and never really acted upon. Now they are coming to fruition at the expense, in this case, of Canadian consumers, of the Canadian public and our national infrastructure. The airline industry is very important for our future, not only in terms of passenger travel but also for cargo and the networks of multi-modal delivery that are so necessary in our modern economy.

I would argue that this is an opportunity for us to take a step back, fix the bill and approve the necessary changes to the accountability. Then Canadians will be far more content if we solve the problems of the bill.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I note the NDP is using language that we might think unparliamentary, words like illegitimate, or that members of Parliament operated in secrecy in a committee that was open to the public. This is a total distortion of the facts.

The member for Windsor West, who I do not think attended one single committee hearing, has become an expert on the secrecy that transpired. There was no secrecy. It was open to the public. In fact, on some occasions, it was even televised. His colleague from Burnaby—New Westminster is propagating an illegitimate view of what transpires in Parliament.

Every member of that committee had opportunities to speak to amendments, to corrections, to changes and eventually to make this or her own, to make it a committee decision. To suggest that none of this had ever been discussed is a total falsehood. However, it is typical of what is transpiring today by colleagues from the NDP who think that if they say something and they say it loud enough, it will somehow be vested in the aura of truth, and nothing could be further from that reality.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's passionate pleas for the Conservative government. I wish Liberals would do that for Canadians as opposed to the Conservatives. That is what should happen in the House, not excuse after excuse for the government's inaction for consumers. They should be defending the interests of Canadians, not their Conservative cousins.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Before I resume debate, I want to respond to the point of order made with respect to the motion that Bill C-7 be read a third time six months hence, which I accepted in order at the time. There was no point of order immediately raised, but there was one very soon thereafter, raised by the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

I want to report to the House that the Chair has considered the matter. Even though the motion is not exactly worded as we find in the example laid out for such motions, the motion's intent is clear, the wording is clear, and I find the motion still to be in order.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am troubled. I think you said that you would give us an opportunity to respond before you made a ruling on that. However, I would first suggest that in fact the challenge was made in due time. However, if you would refresh your eyes, on page 637, it does not give a “may”; it gives a “must”. It requires that it must be in the proper order. With respect, Mr. Speaker, it is not in the proper order. As such I would suggest it is out of order and should be ruled thus by the Chair.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I have heard the hon. member's point of order and I will take it under advisement. However, as far as the Chair is concerned the motion continues to be in order.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Vancouver North.

Aeronautics Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a member of the transport, infrastructure and communities committee to speak in support of Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

This was formerly known as Bill C-6 and Bill C-62 before that. It was previously worked on by the transport, infrastructure and communities committee. I am pleased it was brought back to the House and that our extensive efforts at committee were not wasted.

The bill deals with integrated safety management systems, SMS for short. It also authorizes the designation of industry bodies to certified persons undertaking certain aeronautical activities. Other powers are enhanced or added to improve the proper administration of the act, in particular powers granted to certain members of the Canadian Forces to investigate aviation accidents involving both civilians and a military aircraft or aeronautical facility. This enactment is a proactive measure to assist in preventing airplane accidents from occurring.

Bill C-7 is yet another example of Liberal legislation from previous parliaments being brought forward by the Conservatives, albeit with a new name and minor cosmetic changes. Under the previous Liberal government, Bill C-62 began the dialogue on the issues that eventually became Bill C-6 and now Bill C-7.

The transport committee worked well on this bill. I commend our committee chair, the member for Brandon—Souris , for his excellent work as a chair who facilitated an open and generally positive exchange of ideas in the committee. I suspect the member for Brandon—Souris was not one of the Conservative committee chairs given the secret committee guide book on obstructing and controlling committee proceedings, as our committee was an example of how a minority Parliament should work, and that is what Canadians expect of their elected representatives.

The opposition's approach at the committee table was clear from day one. Public safety was and is our number one concern, not partisan politics as we have seen permeate so much of the government's manoeuvring in the 38th and now the 39th Parliament.

In Canada today there are numerous safety issues that require examination in all modes of transportation in Canada, namely the aeronautics safety measures such as those in Bill C-7, rail safety, port security and safety and marine shipping to name a few.

An issue that gets little attention is the manner in which the Conservative government reorganized the committees after forming a minority government last year. Under previous Liberal governments, the House of Commons had a single committee devoted to transport issues, the Standing Committee on Transport, providing a clear and manageable focus for the committee. Following the 2005-06 election and for reasons that have yet to be explained, the government decided to lump several key areas together in one committee, namely what we have now, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Clearly there are numerous transport issues today in Canada that should be reviewed by parliamentarians. However, the government decided that transport issues should receive only one-third of the attention of the committee as they ever have before.

Coming from a municipal background, I can also speak to the importance of infrastructure needs in our cities and communities. To suggest that urgent issues such as the looming municipal infrastructure crisis deserves only one-third of parliamentary committee time shows that the government is seriously out of touch with the needs of our cities.

One only needs to look at the comments of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on this week's economic statement to see the manner in which the Prime Minister has left municipalities and cities in the lurch.

Gordon Steeves, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities stated in a press release dated October 30:

The government has so far failed to tackle this [municipal infrastructure] deficit, one of the most critical issues facing Canada's cities and communities, with a long-term plan and commitment.

He said further:

Today's actions by the government leave this [municipal infrastructure] deficit untouched and continuing to grow, and the longer we fail to tackle it, the greater the cost when we finally do.

Despite the cooperative spirit and hard work done by all members of the committee, it was unfortunate that the bill died on the order paper following the Prime Minister's decision to prorogue and hence delay resuming Parliament in order to ultimately force confidence votes on the opposition apparently in the hope of forcing another federal election, which Canadians do not want.

It is a shame that we are double billing Canadian taxpayers for work already completed. Instead, we should be moving on to other new issues, such as the renewal and strengthening of Canada's Railway Safety Act, merely an example.

The transport, infrastructure and communities committee performed due diligence on the bill. We heard from many key witnesses, as stakeholders, such as the Air Line Pilots Association, Transport 2000 Canada, Union of Canadian Transport Employees, Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, Air Canada Pilots Association, Canadian Federal Pilots Association, Helicopter Association of Canada, Teamsters Canada, Canadian Business Aviation Association, Air Transport Association of Canada, Canadian Airports Council, International Civil Aviation Organization, DaxAir Inc., Air Canada, Canadian Union of Public Employees, National Defence officials and Transport Canada officials.

The common theme with all of the witnesses who appeared before the committee—