House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vote.

Topics

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

November 15th, 2007 / 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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present the third report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs concerning membership of committees of the House.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the third report later this day.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the third report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House earlier this day be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to)

Income Trusts
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this income trust broken promise petition on behalf of Mr. George Soulis, from Toronto, Ontario, who remembers the Prime Minister boasting about his apparent commitment to accountability when he said the greatest fraud is a promise not kept.

The petitioners remind the Prime Minister that he had promised never to tax income trusts, but he recklessly broke that promise by imposing a 31.5% punitive tax which permanently wiped out $25 billion of the hard-earned retirement savings of over two million Canadians, particularly seniors.

The petitioners therefore call upon the Conservative minority government to first, admit that the decision to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions; second, to apologize to those who were unfairly harmed by the promise; and finally, to repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.

Taxation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition from a good number of my constituents in Trinity—Spadina to the House of Commons that would allow trades persons and indentured apprentices to deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income, so they can secure and maintain employment at a construction site that is more than 80 kilometres from their homes.

We know that Canada is facing a labour shortage. There is no reason why people and working families, especially those that are in the construction trade could not be allowed this deduction. Many Mexican and Portuguese immigrants in my riding, for example, would love to have the kind of tax deduction that some of the employers can have, so that they can travel a bit of a distance to find work. Whether it is travel or hotel costs, they should be tax deductible, and this is what the petition is all about.

Young Offenders Act
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by over 500 petitioners calling upon the Government of Canada to abolish the Young Offenders Act. They would like to see the name of the young offenders published and hold the parents financially responsible for damages caused by their children or child.

Questions on the Order Paper
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, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 38, 50, 60 and 116.

Question No. 38
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

With respect to the Small Craft Harbours Program: (a) what criteria is used to determine what constitutes a “core harbour”; (b) what is the number of core harbours in the ridings of West Nova, Central Nova, Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley and South Shore—St. Margaret's, respectively; (c) what is the total cost of program spending in the ridings of West Nova, Central Nova, Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley and South Shore—St. Margaret's, respectively, for the fiscal year 2006-2007; (d) what is the total 2007 budget allocation for this program; (e) what is the total planned program spending for 2007-2008; (f) what percentage of small craft fishing harbours is currently in a poor or unsafe condition; and (g) what additional funds are required per year to bring all small craft harbours to an acceptable state of repair?

Question No. 38
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl
Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the small craft harbours program:

(a) Core harbours are harbours that are critical to the commercial fishing industry, and are either currently managed by harbour authorities or expected to be managed by harbour authorities in the future;

(b) there are 34 core harbours in the riding of West Nova, 26 in the riding of Central Nova, 5 in the riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley and 50 in the riding of South Shore-St. Margaret’s;

(c) 2006/07 total cost of program spending in the riding of West Nova is $2,594,891, in the riding of Central Nova is $4,726,711, in the riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is $23,979 and in the riding of South Shore St. Margaret’s is $4,944,994;

(d) the total 2007 budget for the program is $97.1M (excluding employee benefit plans);

(e) the total planned spending for 2007-08 is the same as the total national budget, which is $97.1M (excluding employee benefit plans);

(f) as of October 2007, the percentage of SCH core harbours in poor or unsafe condition is 28%, or 209 of a total of 747;

(g) the SCH program estimates that $35M is required to be added to the current SCH annual budget in order to ensure proper life cycle management of assets at core harbours.

Question No. 50
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

With regards to commuter rail service on Vancouver Island: (a) how much money has the government spent in the past 20 years on the Vancouver Island E & N Rail corridor; (b) how many funding applications have been made to support commuter rail on Vancouver Island; (c) how many of those applications have been granted; (d) what was the amount of money granted; (e) how many of those applications were denied and why; and (f) what is the government's current plan to promote commuter rail on Vancouver Island?

Question No. 50
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

(a) The federal government has provided VIA with over $35 million between 1987 and 2006 for the operation of VIA’s Victoria-Courtenay inter-city passenger service. No funding has been provided for a commuter rail service. Traditionally, the federal government has not funded commuter services as they are the responsibility of municipal and provincial governments.

(b) No applications received

(c) No applications received

(d) No applications received

(e) No applications received

(f) While urban transit is a provincial/territorial and municipal responsibility, the federal government recognizes the vital role transportation plays in the well-being of Canada’s urban centres and communities, and its potential benefits. The Government of Canada is committed to working closely with other jurisdictions to ensure that communities have the best possible transportation systems by directly investing in infrastructure projects through the new infrastructure programs announced in budget 2007. As well, municipalities can use the one hundred percent GST rebate and gas tax fund for commuter rail infrastructure and equipment initiatives. Budget 2007 makes a historic investment of more than $16 billion in infrastructure, bringing federal support under the new building Canada plan over the next seven years to a total of $33 billion, including the funding provided in budget 2006. This summer, the transport, infrastructure and communities portfolio undertook discussions with the provinces and territories and the municipal sector regarding the new $33 billion building Canada infrastructure plan and the operation of the new programs. The next steps will be to obtain Treasury Board approval of the funding programs, as well as identifying priorities, assessing projects, and negotiating the necessary agreements with the new terms and conditions for the funds. Throughout this process, funding will continue to be delivered through existing infrastructure programs, including the gas tax fund and the public transit fund.

Question No. 60
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

With regard to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages' Preliminary Investigation Report of May 2007, “Investigation of Complaints Concerning the Federal Government's 2006 Expenditure Review”: (a) when is the government going to provide certain documents that the Office requested; (b) why did the government delay in providing a definitive response to the written request for these documents; and (c) are the documents still confidential and, if so, why?

Question No. 60
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

a) The documents requested on March 5th, 2007, by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages contain confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, within the meaning of section 69 of the Access to Information Act and section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act, and therefore cannot be disclosed.

b) The documents requested were very specific and necessitated an exhaustive search by a number of stakeholders within the Treasury Board Secretariat of all documents on file related to official languages and the expenditure review decision making process. Once the pertinent documents were identified and compiled, they were carefully reviewed and assessed as to whether they could or could not be disclosed. Since the documents contain confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, they could not be disclosed. A reply letter explaining this was provided to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages on May 3rd, 2007.

c) The documents requested are confidential as they contain confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and are thus protected from disclosure for a period of 20 years pursuant to section 69 of the Access to Information Act and section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act

Question No. 116
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

What programs, policies, and oversights does the Treasury Board use to ensure equal pay for equal work between men and women, as well as for minority groups?

Question No. 116
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, equal pay for equal work is ensured through the application of classification standards that results in the same remuneration for employees classified at the same occupational group and level.

As a result of efficient employment equity strategies, we have seen a significant increase in the number of women being recruited and promoted into professional and executive categories. This has allowed us to reduce the global gender wage gap for the core public administration.

We negotiate wages in good faith and endeavour to ensure that gender-based wage discrimination does not re-emerge in our wage-setting practices.