House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-215, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Sackville — Eastern Shore.

Mr. Speaker, a few folks would know that in my riding is the great community of Preston. It has the largest indigenous black population in Canada. They trace their roots back over 400 years.

The community of Preston is a very historic and wonderful community and it is geographically right in the centre of my riding.

I would like to change the name of my riding from Sackville—Eastern Shore to Sackville--Preston--Eastern Shore in recognition of that fabulous community.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-216, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (services to a charity or public authority).

Mr. Speaker, there are many organizations, like legions and others, that do a great job in this country and yet the membership dues to those particular agencies are not necessarily tax deductible.

We are looking for more people to join things like the army, navy, air force veterans halls, legions, et cetera, but we think the membership dues they pay to join should be completely tax deductible.

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

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-217, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code (compassionate care benefits for caregivers).

Mr. Speaker, I worked on this bill for many years. This a reintroduction of a former bill. I give the previous Liberal government and the current Conservative government recognition for putting in a provision in a very small way into the Income Tax Act. However, the allowable leave is only for eight weeks.

We have asked that the Employment Insurance Act allow up to six months' leave. This would allow individuals to take time of work and stay at home to provide extreme rehabilitative care or palliative care to their loved ones.

We have a program which provides maternal and paternal leave for parents at the beginning of a child's life. We would like to have a complete program called eternity leave. This would allow people to care for their loved ones in their own homes for a period of up to six months. This would allow people who wish to die with dignity in their own homes the opportunity to do so under the care of their loved ones.

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

Canadian Forces Superannuation Act
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (increase of allowance for surviving spouse and children).

Mr. Speaker, this recommendation comes right out of the Royal Canadian Legion playbook from its last convention and the previous one as well.

The legion's members are concerned that when a veteran dies, unfortunately the surviving spouse only receives 50% of the veteran's pension, which means that most of the surviving spouses are living at or below the poverty level. They have asked that the amount be increased to up to two-thirds to offer more financial assistance to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.

That recommendation comes from the Royal Canadian Legion. It is something this side fully supports. I know on an individual basis a few Conservatives support it as well.

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

Fisheries Act
Routine Proceedings

November 21st, 2008 / 12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-219, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (deposit in lakes).

Mr. Speaker, schedule 2 of the Mining Act allows mining companies to use freshwater aquatic systems of fish-bearing lakes as cheap waste disposal sites. We think that is absolutely wrong. We have seen three lakes in the great province of Newfoundland and Labrador now destroyed and four on Baffin Island are being destroyed. We also know that 16 across the country are slated for destruction.

Freshwater in this country is a fragile resource. Fish habitat must be one of the greatest priorities of the fisheries minister. We are asking that the government stop the practice, as was done in New Brunswick, of using freshwater habitat as toxic waste tailing ponds for mining companies.

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

Excise Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-220, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on funeral arrangements).

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, there are two things hard to avoid and they are death and taxes, but when one has to pay tax on one's death, that is objectionable.

When the Conservatives introduced the GST in the 1980s, they put a tax on funeral and crematorium services. We think that is wrong. A grieving family should not have to pay tax for those services on the death of a loved one. We would like that tax removed from funeral and crematorium services and the sooner the better.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-221, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (peace officers).

Mr. Speaker, when a peace officer pays the ultimate sacrifice and dies in the line of duty, it affects the entire country. We believe very strongly that the minimum sentence should be 25 years in jail with absolutely no chance of parole. Personally I would like to see it increased. The reality is that when a peace officer pays the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, the justice system should make it very clear, no ifs, ands or buts, that the criminal will serve a minimum of 25 years with no chance of parole during that period.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-222, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (physical activity and amateur sport fees).

Mr. Speaker, this bill has been around for a quite a while. I thank the government for introducing legislation in previous budgets that allows a very small deduction for amateur sports fees for children under 16 years of age. I would like that tax deduction for amateur sports fees to apply to all ages. For example, I pay annual dues to play on a soccer team. Some members in the House play hockey and they pay fees for that. There should be a tax deduction for people who join gymnasiums and various athletic associations.

Regardless of a person's age, the fee should be tax deductible to encourage further physical activity, not just for young children but for everybody in the country. This would result in a savings for our health care system down the road as well.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-223, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (community service group membership dues).

Mr. Speaker, this is very similar to the bill I just introduced. Members of Lions and Kiwanis clubs, church groups or whatever who allocate 250 hours a year of volunteer time should be able to have a tax deduction of up to $1,000.

We have worked on deductions for volunteer firefighters, but the reality is that many Canadians volunteer countless hours to various charitable organizations across the country. With the rising cost of gasoline, et cetera, we think that a small stipend of $1,000 for those who volunteer for those charities, such as food banks, Meals on Wheels, et cetera, should be allowed a small annual tax deduction.

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

Canadian Bill of Rights
Routine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-224, An Act to amend the Canadian Bill of Rights (right to housing).

Mr. Speaker, not many people in the House have to suffer this problem, but thousands and thousands of Canadians lack affordable housing. There is a national housing crisis in Canada right now. We believe that shelter should be an inherent Canadian right. We would like housing to be included in the Canadian Bill of Rights to ensure that every Canadian has a safe, warm and affordable place to call home.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (expenses incurred by caregivers).

Mr. Speaker, this bill relates to the bill concerning employment insurance, where people can take time off work to care for their loved ones. They incur expenses. They may have to purchase medical equipment, prescriptions, et cetera, or they may need to hire someone for respite leave. Those expenses should be tax deductible.

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

Assistance to Students Visiting Military Memorial Sites Abroad Act
Routine Proceedings

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-226, An Act to propose and examine a program giving financial assistance to high-school students visiting military memorial sites abroad.

Mr. Speaker, as the veterans affairs critic for the NDP, and on behalf of my constituents and the House, I have had the opportunity to travel with delegations to very famous war sites and gravesites of our brave fallen around the world.

Several times while there, the great Mr. Cliff Chadderton indicated that it would be wonderful if all students had an opportunity at least once in their lives to go overseas to Europe to see these gravesites in order to completely understand the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in previous conflicts around the world.

This bill would encourage discussions by the federal, provincial and municipal governments and the school boards to see if there is a way to allow all students, at least once during their educational career, a chance to travel overseas to see these gravesites and understand the sacrifices made by our brave men and women.

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

Interprovincial Bridge
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition, the second of these petitions, from the greater national capital region but principally from the people of the riding I have the honour to represent.

The petition is to the effect that the petitioners understand there is a need for a new bridge in the national capital area so that we can get the heavy truck traffic out of the downtown core, but at the same time not to inflict the same problem on another community. It is also to see to the eventual construction of a ring road around the national capital region.

These petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to instruct the National Capital Commission to proceed with a detailed assessment of an interprovincial bridge linking the Canotek Industrial Park to the Gatineau airport, which is option 7 of the first phase of the interprovincial crossing environmental assessment, as opposed to option 5, which calls for a crossing at Kettle Island, which would essentially put heavy truck traffic in established communities, which, in the view of these petitioners, would be unacceptable.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

Is that agreed?