House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals often forget that the national debt actually increased in their time in government. I hate pointing that out, but it is a fact.

The member is voting against the GST refund on school buses in his own riding, something his school board has been fighting for, for I believe seven or eight years. That is what he will vote against, money returned to his own school board.

Honestly, I find it incomprehensible that the members opposite—

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

Before we resume debate, I would ask the cooperation of all members to check their cell phones and BlackBerries and turn them off. We are just about to hear a speech from the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso who has the floor.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, this has been a great Friday debate. There has certainly been an interesting exchange of views.

I want to go on record and say that the budget put forward by the government is not completely horrible. It is horrible, yes, but not completely. Some aspects of the budget, such as the tax incentive and capital gains provisions for fishermen, who are moving licences, make sense. However, it misses the mark so much and hurts so many of the most vulnerable Canadians that in no way can the official opposition support the budget.

The previous speaker, the member for Peterborough, indicated that governing is about making difficult choices, something that the official opposition did not know about when it was in government. That is just not right.

We talked about the $42 billion deficit. The previous government made the difficult decisions on behalf of all Canadians. It sent home 45,000 federal employees in order to balance the books. It made cuts in every department. Every Canadian felt those cuts. They were tough choices, but in doing so, we balanced the budget and righted the fiscal ship of the country. From 1995 on, we began to experience some real fiscal growth.

The bar has been set by the previous government for what it takes to provide financial leadership for the country. We can look at eight surplus budgets, tax relief in all those budgets going forward for every Canadian, reinvestment in important programs such as infrastructure, health care, education. We saw an attack on the accrued debt . Each year that debt was paid down to loosen up additional operational funds for the federal government.

The template and opportunity was there for the government to fall in line and continue to provide good fiscal management for the people of Canada, but it missed the mark. If the government's budget was a road map to prosperity for Canadians, it would be comparable to the people at Rand McNally doing a road map from Ottawa to Toronto and ending up in Boise, Idaho.

The government has missed the mark completely, especially when we factor in the fact that it inherited was the single best set of books ever been transferred to an incoming government. There was a $13 billion surplus. How does anybody mess that up? How could anybody possibly mess that up? However, it did and it hurt a great number of people. That is why I feel obliged to go on record today and identify the some of shortcomings in the budget.

I will speak about a group that I really do not believe has had a voice, certainly off the government bench. It is not talked about much. It is a community that means so much to us as Canadians, and that is the sporting community. If anybody was shortchanged in this budget, it is the sporting community.

The government loves to beat its chest. It made two promises. One promise was a personal tax deduction of $500 to anybody who registered their son or daughter in a sporting activity. What that really equates to, once the deduction is made, is probably between $80 and $90 a year.

I know, Mr. Speaker, you are the father of elite athletes. If you sit down at the kitchen table, I think the conversation goes a bit deeper than saying, “the Tories are offering me $80 and I cannot miss that opportunity”. We know it is good to involve our children in sports and that is what will motivate us. The $80 is a joke. It has no impact at all.

I have three boys myself who play competitive sport. Am I going to use it? Yes, I am, but they are going to play anyway.

The tax deduction has no impact to motivate parents to enrol their kids in sport. We know that if we can keep our youth active, if we can keep them involved, it is positive in so many aspects, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. It reaches into all aspects of those young lives and it is a positive thing, but the tax deduction does not do it.

The other promise that the Conservatives made was that 1% of their health care budget should go toward sport and physical activity. Where is that? Nowhere. There is no sign of it whatsoever. The sporting groups were let down. The sporting groups thought that they might have an opportunity with this promise.

This is what I got from the group called Sport Matters Group. It is from Ian Bird, senior leader for the Sport Matters Group. The Sport Matters Group is a collective of provincial and federal sport leaders that work toward improving the future of sport in the country. Ian Bird said:

Budget making is the central opportunity for governments to fulfill their commitments to Canadians....There had been clear indications from successive Ministers for Sport that today’s budget papers would how the government would invest in its own promise. We’re still waiting.

And they still will be waiting.

What we have seen is a shell game going on within the government in how it approaches sport. Had the government invested that 1%, it would equate to about $540 million annually that would go toward sport.

The template is there. The sports community knows what has to be done. We need a long term athletic development model, taking an active approach to investing in youth from the playground to the podium, working with the provinces and giving the provinces the resources they need, human and financial resources, so they can help deliver on these very important programs. They cannot do that if they do not have the money.

We understand fully as Canadians how important it is that we have heroes. Before there was a Sidney Crosby, there was a Mario Lemieux and a Wayne Gretzky, who was Sidney Crosby's hero. Before there was a Katrina Lemay-Doan or a Marc Gagnon, we knew that Gaétan Boucher was the greatest speed skater to come from Canada. It was his efforts and his gold medal performances in the Olympics that motivated these young skaters. We need the ability to create those heroes to further motivate our younger people to engage in sport.

The Conservatives took that away. Money was accelerated for the own the podium program. Was there any new money? Absolutely not a dollar. The Conservatives pulled the rug out from under the road to excellence program, which would provide funds to our summer athletes going to Beijing in 2008. The Conservatives turned their backs on our summer athletes by taking away those funds.

The Liberal Party talked about in our platform a specific envelope of money that we could invest in very specific sport facilities. I spoke on Wednesday night in Moncton at the Maritime Recreation Facility Conference. These are good people who work their tail off day in and day out to try to provide opportunities for our youth and for our populous to engage in sport. They work trying to keep costs down, keeping registration fees at a reasonable amount. However, the costs continue to rise and accumulate.

Infrastructure, refits and retrofits are expensive. We talked about an envelope of money that we could work with through the provinces so that investment could be made and the costs could come down. The buildings would operate in a more efficient manner, helping the environment and the operators on an annual basis.

The sporting community put this forward. It advocated very much for this type of opportunity to work with the federal government. There is no sign of this initiative whatsoever in this budget from the government.

It is not that the Conservatives just turned their backs on the initiatives that were being put forward by the sporting community, but they also did not deliver on the promises they made to the sporting community. It is shameful.

I would be remiss if I did not address a number of other things in my speech. Literacy, of course, is something that I think has impacts right across this country. Almost 45% of adult Canadians still have a challenge in reading, writing and communicating. If we give an adult the opportunity to engage in the economy, and to engage in the community and in education, we know that every increase of 1.5% in literacy increases the productivity of this country by 2.5%. That is a pretty significant return on our investment.

However, here is what we saw from this government with regard to the $13 billion surplus fund. The government said that of course what it had to do was cut literacy and make it tougher for the people who find it hardest to engage in our economy and our society. Let us make it a little bit tougher on them, said the government. The government carved money out of the literacy fund.

This should not have surprised anybody when the current Minister of the Environment is on record as saying that it is a waste of time teaching adults to read and write. If that is where the essence of it comes from, we are in a sad state here. Certainly this party on this side is concerned about the most vulnerable in our society and where they are going to arrive if we continue to see the reign of that government.

As well, we know that this has been discussed on a number of occasions over the last while. The previous speaker stood up and beat his chest about what they are doing for students. One of the single greatest things we can for our young people is offer them an opportunity to hold a summer job. It contributes to that student's life in so many ways. Many times, a summer job is the first work opportunity they have. They have the opportunity to put together a few dollars to go back and re-engage in the fall in their education.

We witnessed a debacle here over the last number of weeks with this government in regard to the money that was carved out of the summer student employment grants. Not only did that devastate community groups, but it as well just ripped the soul out of job opportunities for students across this country.

There is a question that has to be asked on the issue of the budget because there is a finite envelope of money in the HRSDC and Service Canada funding. The Conservatives have had to go back to try to clean up the mess because the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development has been inundated. I know that the opposition certainly has been pounding him on a regular basis to fix the mess he has made.

I think it was his predecessor that set the template, and the trap was sprung on the current minister, but he is wearing it and it is his job to fix it. He has to go back and fix it. The company line over there is that the government always goes with this second round of funding. Yeah, right, tell me that one now, I say. The Conservatives are going back to try to fix the mess. Any community groups that had a grant last year and have a current valid application on file are going to receive funding. They should receive funding. They should have received funding in the first place.

The government is going back to fix the mess, but it is going to cost this government a great deal of money. Where is that money going to come from?

I remember the Minister of Fisheries when he was in opposition. He was a pretty noble member. He would talk about all the fish plant employees when they would lose their jobs. He would beat the government, asking what it was going to do for those out of work fish plant employees and what it was going to do for the communities most affected. We have not heard a word from him since then.

Is HRSDC going to have to steal the money out of the money that should be going toward helping people like those in Canso, like those in the outports of Newfoundland who have seen their fish plants closed, those people who need that help and those retraining moneys now? There is only one envelope of money and these are the people who are going to suffer as a result of this budget and the actions in this budget.

We have talked about rural communities. It is unbelievable to see how the rural communities got dealt out of this budget. Let us talk about CAP sites. I am sure that all members in this House have received interventions from their constituents about CAP site closures. Now the Conservatives have come back to say that they will keep the sites open one for more year, one more time, but then, we know, there is a drop-dead date. These communities get a one year reprieve on the CAP Sites. CAP sites are essential in rural communities and this opposition will fight to continue to have CAP site funding provided for those essential services.

Regarding access to broadband, through Industry Canada we had an excellent program, the BRAND program, that allowed Canadians no matter where they lived in this country the opportunity for communities to partner with various agencies and stakeholders to bring broadband to these communities. It was a tremendously successful program.

Infrastructure is not just about water, sewer and roads. Access to high speed broadband is essential. If we want to grow those rural communities, the government should be investing in it, but we have seen no movement at all and no investment at all, and it is the rural communities that are going to suffer.

If I could have another 10 minutes on the accord, I would love to wrap up a Friday on that one, but my time is getting close to expiring. As I have said, this budget brings a great deal of pain to the people I represent, and certainly I come here each week to Ottawa to represent the views of my riding and its situation. In no good conscience could I stand and support this budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

It being 1:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business.

When Bill C-52 returns to the House, there will be three minutes left for the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso, plus 10 minutes of questions and comments.

The House resumed from April 24 consideration of the motion that Bill S-214, An Act respecting a National Blood Donor Week, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

National Blood Donor Week Act
Private Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of Bill S-214, which if passed would recognize national blood donor week. Every year the week of June 14 would be designated as national blood donor week. This campaign would go a long way to ensure that safe blood will always be available to every patient who needs transfusion as part of his or her treatment.

It is fitting that this issue is before the House today, as Canada has been selected as the host country for World Blood Donor Day on June 14 by the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Society of Blood Transfusion, and the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations.

Giving blood really is a priceless gift. Every year, Canadian blood donors save thousands of lives. This year's theme “Because of You” grants the 17 million Canadians who have been touched by the need for blood a special chance to say thanks to donors across Canada.

On average, every minute of every day in Canada someone needs blood or blood products. Hundreds of thousands of people every year receive blood components or products following accidents, during surgery or for cancer treatments, burn therapy, hemophilia and other blood related diseases. The maintenance of the collective blood supply depends entirely on the generosity of people who care about sharing the priceless gift of good health.

I would like to share some facts about the gift of blood donation. Over half of Canadians at some point in their lives will require blood or blood products for themselves or a family member. To meet our nation's requirements, one million units of blood must be collected from about 600,000 Canadians.

Canada has the safest blood supply system in the world. One of the major reasons for this fact is that 100% of the blood is donor supplied.

I remember as a family doctor being awoken very early one morning by a patient who had been travelling in another country. She called me and was worried because she was told that she needed a blood transfusion. At that time, that country's blood supply was very much in question and in the news. I remember saying to the patient, because of where she was, that at all costs, it was just so risky for her to accept a blood transfusion in that country at that time. I think I even asked her if she could lift her head off the pillow and if the answer was yes, I told her, then she did not need the blood transfusion, but she should rest in bed, drink plenty of fluids and take her iron pills. It was so risky for her to accept a blood transfusion in that country at that time.

Blood donations in Canada are gathered here by volunteers and from volunteers at 45 permanent collection sites. There are also more than 17,000 special mobile clinics held across Canada. These are operated by almost 6,000 employees and in excess of 40,000 volunteers. On an annual basis, nearly 1.1 million units of blood are donated from over half a million Canadians.

I would like to add that blood donor clinics are regularly held here on the Hill, including next Thursday in Room 200, West Block. I encourage members and all House of Commons staff to donate.

As a Canadian, I am proud to report that our national blood supply system is admired by other countries as a model to emulate. Health Canada’s membership in the newly formed WHO Blood Regulators Network will provide Canada the opportunity to share its expertise in this area worldwide.

As an MP from Toronto and Ontario, I am proud to say that almost 50% of blood collections are obtained from Ontario blood donors.

Canadian Blood Services ships blood products to nearly 750 hospitals across Canada. However, less than 4% of eligible Canadians donate blood every year.

This bill aims to inspire even more Canadians to step forward and participate in this experience, which helps literally thousands each year with the gift of life. No one likes needles and it really is an invasive procedure, but we need at least a week a year to celebrate those who do roll up their sleeves, and we will help make their example contagious.

Today I particularly want to sing the praises of a former patient of mine, Richard Lewis, who passed away last week. It was during his blood donation that his leukemia was discovered. As a regular donor of platelets, he reported often to the Canadian Blood Services to give his donation. It was in that manner that his leukemia was discovered. He fought a brave battle over the last eight months.

This week, I know that all in the House will send his family, Jan Silverman and the children, their best wishes. We honour Richard Lewis today for that loss early in life, and also, it is due to blood donation's preventive nature that so many lives are saved because of people like Richard.

I encourage all my colleagues to support this important piece of legislation, Bill S-214.

National Blood Donor Week Act
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and deeply honoured to have the opportunity to express my gratitude to all the donors who contribute every year to the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, through this simple yet generous act of giving blood. What hope would remain for so many sick and injured people, and their loved ones, without these donors? It is time for the House to declare the second week of June “National Blood Donor Week”.

We Canadians are very lucky. Our blood transfusion system is one of the safest in the world. We owe this safety to the efforts made by professionals and volunteers alike and, above all, to the fact that giving blood in Canada is a completely voluntary act. Fewer than 25% of countries can say the same thing.

I have no doubt that Canadians are fully aware that giving blood means giving life, and that they understand the importance of this simple act. That is what they would say if they were asked. But we do not necessarily find ways to express this gratitude and understanding in our daily lives. Like so many good things, giving blood is a simple reality that is often taken for granted.

We need to be aware of how fortunate we are as Canadians. We should not assume that donors know their generosity is appreciated. We cannot take our voluntary donation system or its sustainability for granted. We must continue promoting blood donation as a positive gesture and encourage Canadians who can to roll up their sleeves. That is why Canada, as a nation, must take action, express its appreciation for our blood system and thank the people who run it.

To recognize donors and encourage other people to become donors, the House must adopt Bill S-214. Canada's Parliament must show its support for this country's donors and recipients, as well as for the other levels of government that have made the second week of June national blood donor week. In doing this as a nation, we are joining with cities like Kingston, Ontario, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and Labrador, which declared at different times that the second week of June would be blood donor week.

This week has been celebrated in communities across Canada since 2005, and there is no reason this House should wait any longer before adopting Bill S-214. As I said earlier, Canadians are extremely fortunate, but human nature being what it is, we sometimes take our good fortune for granted. To help raise awareness of just how fortunate we are, I would like to share some thoughts about blood systems in other countries where blood donation is not entirely voluntary.

Imagine a system where blood is bought and sold. That is the sort of system that most people in the world have to deal with. The sad reality is that if people are forced by economic circumstances to sell their blood, they will be far more likely to keep quiet about aspects of their medical history. Canadians are fortunate that people here voluntarily roll up their sleeves to share the gift of life.

Now imagine a system where a family member who receives blood creates an obligation to replace that blood. Many developed countries have this sort of system. If a person needs several transfusions or transfusions for life, that could place a very heavy burden on that person's family.

Canadians are lucky to have volunteer donors and a system that does not have such obligations. To see a family member with a problem requiring a transfusion can prompt a person to donate blood, which is a very generous thing to do.

Some areas of world are trying to implement a system that is completely voluntary and coordinated on a national level. They are making progress, but despite their system and the progress they have made, they still have to rely on paid and mandatory donations.

Even with a donation rate of slightly less than 5%, or the percentage required to meet our needs, our system works, promotes sharing and will never need to resort to paid or mandatory donations. We should celebrate this system and the volunteer donors to whom we owe its existence by designating the second week of June national blood donor week.

People who give blood in Canada, like other volunteers, are motivated by the desire to help their peers. This celebration in honour of those who give blood voluntarily also celebrates Canadian communities. How many Canadians would have to worry about blood if they needed a transfusion in this country? Very few. Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec submit all donations to essential tests. Canadians have trust in this system.

Now imagine a system that combines voluntary, paid and mandatory donations. What would happen to that trust? In my opinion, it would be broken or seriously shaken. Canadians are lucky to be able to trust the volunteer donation system in our country. To strengthen this system of volunteer donations and increase the pool of potential donors, we must pay tribute to these people. Making the second week of June national blood donor week can help us recruit and maintain the number of donors required in Canada.

I will submit another fact for us to consider for a few moments, that is the vastness of our great country, Canada, which extends from one ocean to another, from the 49th parallel to the far north. Although its population and donors are not distributed equally, we are fortunate to have a system that is coordinated nationally so that the blood of volunteer donors in Quebec can be transfused to a patient in Nunavut. Without national coordination of the blood system, the regions of our vast country would be left to their own devices to determine and meet their respective needs and to establish and administer their own safety protocols. Imagine what that would mean for remote areas.

We are fortunate to have a system that can quickly send blood donated in densely populated major centres to rural and remote areas. The scope and the impact of Canadian blood donations extend beyond the mobile or walk-in blood donor clinics. Giving blood is, in a way, an integral part of our society and should be commended.

As we all know, Canada is a cultural mosaic, reflecting the magnificent diversity of all regions of the world. We can imagine how hard it would be if our country could not count on volunteer donors from different blood groups and ethnic origins. These people, while building up the national blood bank, play a vital role in terms of special needs. To celebrate donors is to celebrate Canada.

Today I emphasized how lucky Canadians are to have such a blood system. Our system is coordinated nationally, and all the blood comes from volunteer donors. Because of this, the blood is safe, and we can trust our system. Our biggest challenge is to increase the number of donations to meet our needs. We would need 5% of healthy adults to regularly donate blood.

By passing Bill S-214 and designating the second week of June national blood donor week, we will be taking a big step in the right direction.

National Blood Donor Week Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to voice my support for Bill S-214, declaring the second week in June to be national blood donor week. This simple act would not only provide Canada with a dedicated week to celebrate the generosity of donors and the needs that they respond to, but it will also help people gain a greater understanding of just what blood donation is all about.

I recently found out a few interesting things about blood and blood donation that I would like to share with my colleagues. It certainly helped me to understand what the “gift of life”, as we call it, really means and why we need a variety of volunteers to donate on a regular basis. It is really important.

The most important observation I have made is that we cannot leave blood donations up to everyone else. Saying another person will do it simply does not fill the need for blood donations in our needed blood supply in Canada.

I would like to begin by recognizing that blood donation is not simply blood. Each donation is made up of and broken down into several parts, mainly red blood cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. Patients do not just get blood. They get specific components from specific donations based on their need and blood type. Clearly we need many volunteer blood donors all year round to meet a need that can really only be known for sure on a patient by patient basis.

I would now like to share some information about the blood components I just mentioned. This will help illustrate just why we need all eligible Canadians to step up and roll up their sleeves. I might add that declaring the second week in June to be national blood donor week would go a long way toward getting that message out loud and clear in every part of this country.

I will begin with plasma. Plasma makes up 55% of total blood volume and does many things, such as transporting blood cells and nutrients throughout the body and defending against infection. Plasma is often needed by burn victims or hemophiliacs. Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are suspended in blood plasma.

Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. A drop of blood the size of a pinhead, and this is unbelievable, carries about five million red blood cells. It is amazing that these incredible tiny entities can do such a job.

People who have lost a lot of blood through accident or surgery or who have anemia may be given red blood cells. Did everyone know that, once more, we are not all the same? Between 43% to 49% of men's blood is composed of red blood cells while it is 37% to 43% in women.

White blood cells are slightly larger than red and protect the body by moving in to fight infection. If anyone has ever been ill and felt oneself getting better, that is the white blood cells at work. Yesterday I had a sore throat and knew I had a little infection. I could feel those white cells or something working and by doing the research on this speech, I now know what it was. I am going to have a little different view about getting better. It is the cells working in one's body.

Sometimes white blood cells are needed by people with weak immune systems as well. To meet this need, white blood cells can be collected through a process call apheresis, whereby white cells are separated from plasma and removed from the donor. There are 6,000 to 8,000 white blood cells per cubic millilitre of blood. However, it does not end there.

Finally, I want to talk about a component of blood that might be in a way a little more familiar to us as we have all moved through the bumps and scrapes of growing up.

Platelets are a component of blood that contribute to wound healing. When a person cuts a finger, for example, or if a child skins his or her knee, we can see platelets working as part of the healing process. They are even smaller than red and white blood cells. Approximately two tablespoons of platelets come from a single blood donation. Cancer or organ transplant patients may require these platelets.

As we see, a blood donation is not simply a blood donation. It is the generous giving of several parts and maybe it makes sense now how a single donation can be used to help three individuals with entirely different needs.

Declaring the second week in June to be national blood donor week can help to spread our knowledge of the science, so that people can understand how they too are helping to save possibly three people with each donation of blood that they make.

I have just talked about some different components of blood. All healthy blood has those components. That is what makes it the same, but blood is also different from person to person.

We all probably have heard the term blood type at some time in our lives and although we might not know which type we are all of us know that indeed we have a blood type. A member's blood type is probably not the same as that of his or her colleague sitting next to him or her, or any of the pages sitting in Parliament today.

What we may not know is that certain blood types are more common than others and that there is something called a universal donor and a universal recipient.

Blood O type positive is the most prevalent while AB negative is the least. Donor and recipient blood must be compatible, of course, otherwise the recipient may reject the transfused blood component.

The universal recipient is type AB positive. Patients with this type of blood can receive any of the other blood types. Universal donors are type O negative which means their donations can be given to any person in need.

While Canada's blood system obviously needs plenty of O negative donors, we also need a good supply of the other types.

We can see that a single blood donation, just one-half of a litre, and I know my colleagues in the House donate blood on a regular basis and if they do not they should, contains a lot of variety and packs a significant punch. It really is quite incredible.

By declaring the second week in June as national blood donor week we can go a long way toward helping people to better understand on many levels how and why giving blood on a regular basis, a regular donation of their particular blood type, can make a big difference in the lives of their fellow Canadians. It is something that we should do as Canadians.

I did not have to go far to find this little bit of information I shared with members today. This information and more is available on the websites of Héma-Québec and the Canadian Blood Services.

Making volunteer blood donations the focus of a single week each year can draw attention to these websites and educate potential donors not just on the importance of donating but on the wonders of what blood is really about.

In addition to sharing that science, national blood donor week would be an opportunity to answer the questions that may keep Canada's healthy adult population from donating blood on a regular basis. It is a normal human condition to be shy or fearful of something new.

Potential donors could ask their friends and family members, who have donated before, what happens during a blood donation visit. They could make a quick phone call to their nearest blood donor clinic and ask a few questions or they could just drop by and talk to an outreach representative. But many just do not get around to it. That is too bad because Canada's blood supply needs to be sustained.

National blood donor week would be an opportunity to answer many of these questions. People could find out that only adults over the age of 17, for example, can donate blood, but they can do so until at least age 71 and even longer for some people. Potential donors would find out that they need to weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and feeling well enough to donate. They would also learn that they can donate every 56 days.

People like to know what will happen when they venture into unknown territory. The same would apply to first time volunteer blood donors. National blood donor week will accomplish this by getting the message of how important blood donations are on a regular basis. I ask all members to support the bill.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River
B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill Secretary of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Given we ran out of time today to complete the debate on Bill C-52 and given that the failure to adopt Bill C-52 by both houses before we adjourn for the summer will result in the loss of some $4.3 billion in 2006-07 year-end measures, pursuant to Standing Order 53.(1) I move:

That the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of adjournment today to consider Bill C-52.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe that this motion is out of order because we are into private members' hour.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

The motion of the chief government whip can be moved at any time. This is a matter of an urgent nature. The question is on the motion.

Would those members who object to the motion please rise in their places.

And fewer than 10 members having risen:

The motion is adopted.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

2 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that I had risen on a point of order before you had finished reading that and I would also like clarification on whether or not this is debatable.

I would point out that the House is not scheduled to rise until June 22, so I fail to see the rationale of extending this day when we have before us another two weeks to debate this issue. As important as the government feels it is, the House can rest assured that our party is more than happy to point out the things that are missing and the failures of the budget which is why the Liberals of the House will not support the budget.

Given that we have two weeks further to sit, I see no emergency necessity to extend the sitting hours today. It was my understanding that this could not be done at this point in time.

Therefore, I would ask for clarification from the Speaker as to whether or not this is indeed in order and whether or not it is debatable. I feel that there are many good points that can be made to the other side to indicate that we do not have to extend the sitting today, given that we have a full two weeks.

I know our colleagues in the other place would be more than happy to sit after June 22. As a matter of fact, they have said so publicly in order to get through very important pieces of legislation, dare I point out, like the private member's bill of one of my Liberal colleagues on the Kelowna accord, as well as other important pieces of legislation.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

I thank the hon. chief opposition whip. According to Standing Order 53, the motion of the chief government whip is in order and in response to the question raised by the hon. chief opposition whip, it is debatable for one hour.

On debate, the hon. chief government whip.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, also on a point of order, in my reading of Standing Order 53.(1) through 53.(5), Standing Order 53.(4) says:

When the Speaker puts the question on any such motion, he or she shall ask those who object to rise in their places. If ten or more Members then rise, the motion shall be deemed to have been withdrawn; otherwise, the motion shall have been adopted.

Mr. Speaker, it is my reading that you put the motion and less than 10 members rose in objection. Therefore, the motion has been adopted by the House and we will proceed now not with debate on the motion but debate on Bill C-52.

Suspension of Certain Standing Orders--Bill C-52
Business of the House
Private Members' Business

2 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to draw the House's attention to Standing Order 53.(3), where it says:

Proceedings on any such motion shall be subject to the following conditions:

(a) the Speaker may permit debate thereon for a period not exceeding one hour;

b) the motion shall not be subject to amendment except by a Minister of the Crown;

(c) no Member may speak more than once nor longer than ten minutes; and

(d) proceedings on any such motion shall not be interrupted or adjourned by any other proceeding or by the operation of any other Order of this House.

Therefore, I would agree with the Speaker's first ruling that there is one hour of debate required before this gets brought any further.