House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nuclear.

Topics

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my hon. colleague's presentation. He began with words like “principle” and “naiveté”. Are we here today discussing the principle of employing 10,000 people, or are we discussing another principle? I would like to see a discussion on this.

When we talk about letters that must be sent by mail, we must also consider all the advertisements and flyers, everything that does not constitute letters that Canada Post currently distributes.

Personally, I am not naive. As I have said in other presentations, this bill is not a question of rurality, but aims simply to determine how to solve a problem caused by a difference of opinion concerning the terminology in the act that has been in place for the past 20 years.

I have a question for the member who proposed another amendment here today. Does the member really believe that if all the revenue from this commercial remailing activity went to Canada Post, the Canadian public could expect dividends totalling more than $600,000? At present, Canada Post gives only 1% of all its revenue to the Canadian government. If—

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I must interrupt the hon. member for Eglinton—Lawrence.

The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi.

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think it is actually a matter of principle. In my opinion, the bill truly shows that we could retain a certain part of the private enterprise. It is not about destroying private enterprise. Far from it.

As a colleague said earlier, Canada is in favour of private enterprise. That is not the issue.

What we want is to ensure that Canada Post provides universal and affordable service everywhere. I do not agree with the naive belief, on the other side, that withdrawing this right would result in the loss of 10,000 jobs. It was never a question of this right being withdrawn. That decision should be based on a study by the advisory committee and not on the principle of the bill. If remailing were eliminated, it would not necessarily result in the loss of 10,000 jobs because almost an equal number of jobs would be recovered.

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will keep my question short to allow other members of this House to put their questions.

My hon. colleague has no doubt heard, as I did, Liberal and Conservative members shout themselves hoarse defending 10,000 jobs. I am not saying that we should not shout ourselves horse defending jobs in this country. But did the hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi who just spoke notice that, regarding the manufacturing and forestry sectors, both of which are going through a real crisis, while the people across the way were in a position to address the issue, they did not make any noise about 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 jobs?

All of a sudden, they bring up this totally opportunistic argument.

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question.

It is true that they defend jobs only when a bill is concerned. When manufacturing jobs are lost, the government just says it has allocated $1 billion, even though it realizes that Quebec will get only $76 million a year over three years. That is nothing.

It is true that the Liberals and Conservatives get up in arms over potential job losses, but not over the jobs that are actually being lost every day. Yesterday, it was Shermag's turn, but no one on the other side stood up to say how terrible it was that Shermag was going bankrupt.

Jobs are being lost in my riding. In fact, on May 9, a company will declare bankruptcy. But the members on the other side will not get upset.

The decrease in the number of rural roadside mailboxes by Canada Post will cost jobs. In any event, that is why they are taking that step. I did not hear the members on the other side of this House say they were concerned that Canada Post was cutting jobs.

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been following this issue very closely because the question of where Canada Post is going in terms of privatizing service is a discussion that we must have with the Canadian people.

In my riding of Timmins—James Bay, for example, the downtown postal service in the city of Timmins that supplies the entire city now is no longer able to provide postal service because it is being shipped out and privatized.

I wonder what other businesses in the world would actually not provide a service when it is their primary service. The primary service of Canada Post in Timmins is to provide parcel post, pick up and postal service for citizens. Yet, it is unable to do that.

Workers are being told they cannot provide the service. Businesses in the downtown are no longer able to use this service because it has been shipped out to a local drug store. Canada Post does not sell hair sprays; it does not sell toothpaste. It is in the business of serving the public with a postal service.

We are seeing the same situation in our rural communities where Canada Post is walking away, leaving boxes out on rural roads, as opposed to real people who service the public.

I guess the question I have for my hon. colleague is, where else but the House of Commons should we be debating the fact that a national service, the postal service, is being shipped off, cut apart, split apart and citizens are being denied service that they have come to expect?

Canada Post Corporation Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I agree completely with my colleague that this is where we should be debating this issue. In our view, this debate is premature. We should wait until the advisory committee has looked at the issue. The people on the committee work in the field and are much more in touch with reality. We are ill equipped to make decisions before the advisory committee, which has just been announced, has been appointed.

However, I recognize that Canada Post will not provide better service by closing offices. This is incredible. Canada Post is closing offices, but jobs are being lost elsewhere at the same time. Yet jobs have been lost in the offices that have been closed, and Canada Post is having to retrain people and assign them to new duties elsewhere. This is truly incomprehensible, because Canada Post is making money.

People ask me if things are going well elsewhere. The mail service in the United States was losing money at a terrific rate. The Americans restructured the service, without closing even the tiniest post office in the smallest town in rural Nebraska, and succeeded in turning a profit.

The House resumed from May 5, consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Canada Marine Act, the Canada Transportation Act, the Pilotage Act and other Acts in consequence, be read the third time and passed.

Canada Marine Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-23.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #96

Canada Marine Act
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-5, An Act respecting civil liability and compensation for damage in case of a nuclear incident, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the motions at report stage of Bill C-5.

The question is on Motion No. 1. The vote on this motion will also apply to Motions Nos. 2 to 5, 8, 11 and 12.

A negative vote on Motion No. 1 requires the question to be put on Motions Nos. 16, 17 and 18.

Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think if you were to seek it you would find the unanimous consent of the House to apply the results of the vote just taken to the motion presently before the House, with Conservative members present this evening voting no.

Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?