House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Sri Lanka
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition that contains the signatures of over 700 of my constituents.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to exert diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka to respect the human rights of the Tamil people. The fighting in Sri Lanka has gone on for far too long. Far too many innocent people have suffered for it.

I agree with my constituents that the Government of Canada must become more involved in helping this country move toward peace.

Justice
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I once again rise to present a petition signed by 529 people from my riding of Red Deer, Alberta.

These citizens are outraged at the violent beating of a 61-year-old apartment caretaker by repeat offender Leo Teskey. The petitioners therefore demand that Parliament pass tougher laws regarding repeat and violent offenders, and provide adequate compensation for victims of violent crimes.

Child Care
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present petitions signed by people from the Annex neighbourhood in my riding and other people across Toronto plus petitioners from Saskatchewan.

The petitioners are concerned about early learning and child care. They want the best for their children. The petitioners note that working families are now working five weeks more than nine years ago and that high quality child care is a benefit to all children. It enhances health and school readiness, reduces family poverty, and promotes social inclusion and workforce productivity.

The petitioners are worried that the $1,200 universal child allowance is poorly designed and discriminates against lone parent families and two income families, and also that it is taxable. The petitioners state that a child care act needs to be passed.

The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to achieve multi-year funding to ensure that publicly operated child care programs are sustainable for a long term; to protect child care by enshrining it in legislation with a national child care act to be a cornerstone of Canada like the national health act; and lastly, to end child poverty by using the $1,200 allowance to enhance child tax benefits without taxes and clawbacks.

Sri Lanka
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, together with the petition that my colleague from Markham—Unionville has brought to the table, I also present this petition signed by residents from York South--Weston.

The petitioners condemn the targeted killing of Tamilselvan, the Tamil peace negotiator, and urge the Sri Lankan government to stop its military aggression against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The petitioners are requesting the Government of Canada to exert diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka to respect the human rights of the Tamil people.

Age of Consent
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions. The first is on the subject of the age of consent.

The petitioners encourage the Parliament of Canada to raise the age of consent. They point out that 14 to 15 year olds are subject to sexual exploitation, including recruitment by pimps. They point out that among the many duties of Parliament, protecting our young people is extremely important. The petitioners point out as well that the age of sexual consent has been raised above the age of 16 in many jurisdictions.

Firearms Registry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition relates to the long gun registry. The petitioners point out that the long gun registry has cost Canadian taxpayers over $1 billion, more than 500 times its original estimated cost.

Marriage
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third petition I wish to present today relates to the institution of marriage. The petitioners ask that Parliament return to the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Iraq
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition regarding what is happening in Iraq. Many of the petitioners who signed the petition want to develop: first, an automatic way for interventions to be imposed by Canada against foreign governments, such as Iraq, that might support persecution or fail to prevent it; second, improve measures for refugees who have suffered religious persecution; and third, develop and set as a priority mechanisms to provide resettlement assistance to members of a group identified as suffering systemic religious persecution. This would come either by written policy or by specific designated humanitarian requests.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.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: Questions Nos. 4, 31, 97, 99, 102, 127, 129, 135, 137, 139, 140, 142, 143, 144 and 158.

Question No. 4
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

With regard to the Canadian Firearms Program: (a) what is the proposed budget allocation for fiscal year 2007-2008; (b) what are the line-item cost projections for fiscal year 2007-2008; (c) what are the cost projections by department and agency for 2007-2008; (d) what is the total cost of the program since its inception in 1995; and (e) how much did the government spend on fee refunds related to the amnesty in 2006-2007?

Question No. 4
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am informed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, that:

a) As published in the RCMP’s 2007-2008 Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP), the total planned spending on the Canada Firearms Centre (CFC) for fiscal year 2007-2008 is $70.4 million.

b) Line-item cost projections for 2007-2008 are:

• $21.2 million in salaries

• $32.6 million in operating and maintenance

• $12.7 million in grants and contributions

• $3.9 million in employee benefits plan

c) The projected costs of the Canada Firearms Program by department or agency as published in table 12 of the special chapter on Canada Firearms Program in the 2007-2008 RCMP’s RPP:

• From within CFC's $70.4 million, CFC plans to transfer $1.7 million to the Canada Border Services Agency, and $0.8 million to the Department of Justice.

• Other departments/agencies that plan on spending money from the Canada Firearms Program are Public Safety Canada ($0.3 million), Correctional Service Canada ($9.3 million), National Parole Board ($0.9 million) and PWGSC ($2.7 million).

d) As published in Table 17 of CFC’s 2005-2006 Departmental Performance Report (DPR), the total cost of the Canada Firearms Program since its inception in 1995 as of March 31, 2006 is $1.127 billion.

e) According to the 2006-2007 DPR, $17.2 million was disbursed in refunds under the “Fee amnesty” during that fiscal year.

Question No. 31
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With regards to spending and allocation by all government ministries, departments and agencies in the riding of Burnaby—New Westminster, what is the total amount spent, including allocations, funds, grants, loans and loan guarantees for the period of January 24, 2006 to October 17, 2007 inclusive?

Question No. 31
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.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, government information on funds, grants, loans and loan guarantees issued by departments and agencies is based on parliamentary authorities for departmental or agency programs and activities. This information is listed by department and government organization in the public accounts and disclosed on the web sites of government organizations. However, government organizations do not compile or analyze expenditure information by electoral district. Consequently, at present, it would not be possible to provide the information in the form requested.

Over the course of the 39th Parliament, a number of government organizations have undertaken efforts to identify federal expenditures by postal codes which could then be summarized by electoral districts using a tool developed by Statistics Canada. While there is some promise in this approach, there remains a significant potential for error since many postal codes straddle two or more electoral districts. Moreover, the government would have significant concerns about the quality of the financial data derived by this approach because there is no way to track the geographic area in which federal funding is actually spent. For example, federal funding could be provided to the head office of a firm situated in one electoral district, while the funding was actually spent by a subsidiary located in another electoral district. This may also be the case for payments to individuals, organizations or foundations. For these reasons, and the fact that fewer than half of government organizations have acquired the Statistics Canada tool, it is not possible to produce an accurate and comprehensive answer to this question at the present time.

That said, Statistics Canada has initiated a process to enhance the accuracy of the tool that provides the link between postal codes and electoral districts. The process will allow departments which use the tool to better approximate by electoral district data gathered on a postal code basis. The improved tool is expected to be available at the end of January 2008, and training for government organizations on the use of this tool is planned for February--March 2008.

Question No. 97
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

With regards to the Prime Minister’s Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan: (a) what is the current and expected cost of the panel; (b) what is the name and job classification of each civil servant who will be working full time, or part time with the panel; (c) when did the panel first meet; (d) how many meetings will the panel have; (e) when is their last expected meeting; (f) what remuneration or honoraria will be offered to the panel; (g) which government departments have been tasked with preparing briefing material; (h) will the panellists be provided with personal staff for the duration of the panel; (i) what are the terms of reference for the panel; (j) what foreign trips will the panel make; (k) which government department will be coordinating the final report of the panel; and (l) what is the government's position with regard to following the panel's recommendations on the four options, as announced by the Prime Minister on October 12, 2007?

Question No. 97
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the reply is as follows:

a) A Treasury Board submission is currently being prepared. Once it is complete, the details will be made public.

b) Independent Panel Secretariat: David Mulroney, Secretary, DM-01 Elissa Golberg, Executive Director, EX-01 Sanjeev Chowdhury, Director, Operations, FS-03 Col. Mike Cessford, Special Advisor, EX-01 Sam Millar, Special Advisor, EX-01 Cory Anderson, Special Advisor, PM-05 Kaitlyn Pritchard, Project Officer, FS-01 Elizabeth Thébaud, Administrative Assistant, AS-02

c) The Independent Panel first met on October 19, 2007.

d) The Independent Panel will meet regularly until the report is finalized. They have set up a number of regular meetings until the end of December 2007 and add meetings as required.

e) The Independent Panel’s last expected meeting will take place after the report is submitted, in either late January 2008 or early February 2008.

f) The Independent Panel has been offered per diems in the range of $1200 to $1400 for the chair and between $850 to $1000 for panel members. However, some members of the Independent Panel have declined to be remunerated, either because they are in receipt of a government pension or for personal reasons. In addition, the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act contains provisions that limit the amount a former MP can earn from the government while in receipt of a pension under the act. As this is personal information, the particulars of each case are not made public.

g) The Independent Panel Secretariat prepares briefing notes for the panel. The secretariat has been approaching government departments for factual material for inclusion in those briefing notes, and thus far, the secretariat has consulted Foreign Affairs, DFAIT, Department of National Defence, DND, and Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA for factual information.

h) No.

i) The Independent Panel has been asked to consider four options, including:

i) To continue training the Afghan army and police so that Canada can begin withdrawing its forces in February 2009;

ii) To focus on reconstruction and have forces from another country take over security in Kandahar;

iii) To shift Canadian security and reconstruction efforts to another region in Afghanistan; and

iv) To withdraw all Canadian military personnel except a minimal force to protect aid workers and diplomats.

The Independent Panel may also identify and pursue additional options.

Over the next three months, the panel plans to carry out a series of consultations with Canadian and international experts, including individuals from the political, diplomatic, development and security sectors, in order to develop a series of recommendations on Canada’s future role in Afghanistan.

The Independent Panel’s final report will be delivered to the Prime Minister in January 2008.

More details on the terms of reference can be found on the panel’s website: www.independent-panel-independant.ca

j) The Independent Panel is expected to travel to Afghanistan, the US and Western Europe.

k) The Independent Panel Secretariat will be co-ordinating the final report.

l) The Prime Minister has stated that the government will take the Independent Panel’s recommendation very seriously. He also indicated that in the end Parliament will consider all the options that are deemed to be realistic by either the government or the Independent Panel.