House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Chief Electoral Officer
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2008-09 annual report on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act from the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.

This document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Environment and Sustainable Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, in relation to requesting an extension of 30 sitting days to consider Bill C-311, An Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change.

Environment and Sustainable Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Pursuant to Standing Order 97.1(3)(a), a motion to concur in the report is deemed moved, the question deemed put, and a recorded division deemed demanded and deferred until Wednesday, October 21, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

Justice and Human Rights
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In accordance with the order of reference of Wednesday, June 17, your committee has considered Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct), and agreed on Wednesday, October 7, to report it without amendment.

Excise Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-459, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (goods and services tax on school authorities).

Mr. Speaker, I am just reintroducing a bill that I introduced in the last Parliament, at the request of the Canadian School Boards Association. Many school boards across the country have been asking to be relieved of this costly burden for years.

Basically through this act we want to change the GST rebate to 100% for school boards, which would save them approximately $155 million a year and would go a long way toward helping ease the burden on every school in Canada.

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

Defence of Canada Medal Act (1946-1989)
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-460, An Act respecting the establishment and award of a Defence of Canada Medal (1946-1989).

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be able to table the bill entitled An Act respecting the establishment and award of a Defence of Canada Medal (1946-1989).

This act represents the hard work and vision of one of my constituents, retired captain Ulrich Krings of Elliot Lake, who presented me with this proposal to have a medal struck to honour the men and women who served in the defence of Canada during the Cold War.

It will honour the people who defended Canada in both the regular and reserve forces, police forces, emergency measures organizations, as well as civil organizations such as St. John Ambulance, which were concerned with the protection of Canada from within Canada.

The medal would recognize the support these men and women gave Canadians and the hours spent training and practising for an attack on Canadian soil that, thankfully, never happened. Their service to our country represents a period of time when we became aware of just how fragile peace can be.

Many will remember the air raid sirens and emergency measures drills that characterized the era. This medal would give something back to all those who worked in those years to keep us safe and prepared.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

October 8th, 2009 / 10:05 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-461, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (use of hand-held telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to table a bill entitled an Act to amend the Criminal Code (use of hand-held telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle.

The purpose of the bill is to ban the use of telecommunications devices for sending or receiving messages in text format as well as hand-held cellular telephones while operating a motor vehicle on the highway.

The reason I am tabling the bill is that we have heard from both the American and Canadian medical associations expressing deep concern at the number of accidents and deaths associated with the use of hand-hand devices while operating vehicles.

The president of the Ontario Medical Association, Dr. Ken Arnold, stated that there have been studies that show that when cell phones are banned, accident rates decrease.

There have been actions taken by some provincial jurisdictions and some municipalities to try to fill the vacuum created by the lack of action on the part of the Government of Canada. I am therefore tabling the bill to show that we believe we should take action to protect Canadians from these incidents.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, members have been advised, and if you seek it I believe you will find unanimous consent for the adoption of the following motion:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should honour the historical voyage made by Leif Erikson, who became the first European to visit North America over 1,000 years ago, and recognize the contributions of Scandinavian peoples from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland to Canada by joining other nations and declaring October 9 as Leif Erikson Day in Canada.

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-311--Climate Change Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

moved:

That it be an instruction to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development that it have the power to divide Bill C-311, An Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change, into two bills: Bill C-311A, An Act to set targets and timelines to prevent dangerous climate change, and Bill C-311B, An Act to ensure the Government of Canada is held accountable for meeting its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change; that Bill C-311A be composed of clause 6 of Bill C-311; that Bill C-311B be composed of all remaining parts of Bill C-311; that the House order the printing of bills C-311A and C-311B; that the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel be authorized to make such technical changes or corrections as may be necessary to give effect to this motion; and that, if Bill C-311A has not been reported back to the House by the tenth sitting day after October 19, 2009, it shall be deemed to have been reported back without amendment.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise that I will be sharing my time with the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North. I thank you for reading the motion, because that means I do not have to. However, I do want to explain it and explain why this motion is being brought forward.

Just a few moments ago, the chair of the environment committee brought forth a motion from the committee to basically ask for an extension and delay of 30 sitting days for the examination of Bill C-311, which is the climate change accountability act. I have to say that there is absolutely no legitimate reason for delaying consideration of this bill.

This has caused the NDP to bring forward this motion this morning in the House to instruct the committee to separate the bill and to ensure that the bill will now be examined in two parts. Part A would deal with the targets that are set in the bill and they would be brought back into the House by the 10th sitting day after October 19, which would be November 2. If the committee fails to do that, the bill will be deemed to have been reported back without amendment.

I would like to explain why we are doing this. I think members are aware that this bill was first debated in March 2009. It was actually sent to the committee on April 1 of this year. In our opinion, the committee has had ample time to deal with this very urgent matter. I would say that our goal all along has been very clear. This very substantive and important bill needed to be debated and processed through the House in order to be approved, we hope, in time for the international climate change conference in Copenhagen in November.

It was with deep concern that we learned that the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development voted to delay this bill for no good reason. From the email we get, the folks we talk to in our ridings and the strong environmental community across this country, I think it is very clear that Canadians believe that government after government has dragged its feet on climate change.

There has been no substantive action, whether by the Conservative government or by the previous Liberal government. This bill that we have brought forward both in the last Parliament and in this Parliament, and in fact it was approved in the last Parliament, is a strong effort to say that the will of Parliament should be brought forward to Copenhagen and that the will of the Canadian people to see action by our government on climate change and to set clear targets is something that is fundamental to the direction and the health and safety of Canadians and the future of our planet.

It was with dismay that we saw that various members of the House are trying to delay this bill. I think we have to ask why this bill is being delayed, because there is no legitimate reason to do so. The bill is actually very clear and straightforward. In fact, clause 6, which is the clause that we are now saying should be brought back to House by the 10th sitting day, through this debate today, is the clause that deals with the interim greenhouse gas emissions and sets out a target plan for 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040 and 2045.

The target plan clearly lays out that it would establish a Canadian greenhouse gas emissions target for each of those years; specify the scientific, economic and technological evidence and analysis used to establish each target, including consideration of the latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the most stringent greenhouse gas emissions targets adopted by other national governments, and it would show that each target is consistent with a responsible contribution by Canada to the UNFCCC's ultimate objective of preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and with Parliament’s strong commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

The separation of the bill and what we have now been forced to do is necessary in order to ensure that Canada has set targets and that those targets will be met. We want to go to that conference in Copenhagen knowing that Canada will finally have some legitimacy. After so many years of delay and inaction, we want to have a bill that speaks for the Canadian people on the issue of climate change.

When this was first debated in the House, the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, who introduced the bill, gave one of the most beautiful speeches I have ever heard in the House. It was passionate, articulate and full of scientific fact. It was about his own riding. I remember one of the things that he said:

Opinion polls keep saying that 80% of Canadians favour strict measures to reduce emissions, yet our own governments have been impotent and unwilling to confront what will be the defining issue of the 21st century: a changing climate and a dying world.

The next world conference in Copenhagen this December will provide another opportunity to regain some stature on the vital issue of climate change. This act would help re-establish our credibility at the bargaining table and increase the chances of persuading major developing countries to take on such commitments. In this 40th Parliament, we have one last opportunity to take real action to prevent the threat of worsening economic and health effects of climate pollution. Bill C-311 would ensure that the government is accountable to Canadians on climate change and that Canada is accountable to the world.

That is a perfect summary of what this issue is about and why it is so urgent. All the more shame for what took place at the environment committee and the fact that there is an attempt now to slow down this bill so that it will not make it through the House in time for the Copenhagen conference.

As New Democrats, we are committed to doing everything we can for Canadians to ensure that this legitimate and credible and very sound bill does come before the House for a vote. We hope that it will be passed. We hope that a majority of members of Parliament will listen to their constituents about what needs to be done in this country, to take a stand and set real targets for climate change. Nothing less will suffice.

We regret that this debate is taking place today. It should not have to take place. The bill should have come out of committee. I am sure witnesses were lined up. I am sure all kinds of people were ready to debate the bill clause by clause. I am not on the committee so I do not know if there would have been some amendments. I find it most disturbing that it appears the bill is being deliberately delayed.

This motion is to put on the record how urgent this issue is. The bill must come back from committee. The motion before us is clear. It asks the committee to examine clause 6 that deals with the interim targets and get the bill back into the House by November 2.

This is a very straightforward and transparent motion about what needs to be done. I implore members of the House to ensure that we rise above the partisan politics and whatever political agendas are operating here and think about what Canadians sent us here to do. I implore members to think about the most urgent issue facing our country and our planet: climate change. It is shameful that in the international community Canada has such a terrible record.

Let us deal with this legislation and get it through the House. Let us hear witnesses--

Bill C-311--Climate Change Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the hon. member has been sharing with the House details from an in camera meeting, for which she apologized yesterday. If her apology were sincere, she would not repeat what happened at an in camera meeting. It is quite inappropriate and unparliamentary.

Bill C-311--Climate Change Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday I came into the House and apologized for a press release that was sent out in error. I did that in good faith and with genuine intent.

We have already heard from the chair of the committee that the committee has come forward to the House asking for a delay of 30 days. I have not divulged any information about the vote; I am not privy to that. All I know is that a decision of the committee was made which is why this motion came before the House today.

There is nothing out of order with that, so I will certainly continue speaking to the motion that is before us today.

I want to reiterate that there are obviously going to be a lot of political games played today.

I want it to be on the record that what is happening here is really quite shameful. What the NDP has always tried to do with the bill is to have it go through its due process. It was sent to committee. The committee has had adequate time to deal with the bill. The fact that it is now being delayed is obviously part of some other political agenda. Other parties will have to account for their own actions.

All I know is that what is important about the bill is to get it dealt with, particularly clause 6 which deals with the targets. That is why we have this motion before us today. It is perfectly in order. In fact, it was imperative to bring forward this motion because there really was no other way to deal with it.

I ask the members of the House to support this motion and to ensure that Bill C-311 is dealt with, brought back to the House so we can hold our heads high when we go to Copenhagen and say that we represent what the Canadian people want us to do.

Bill C-311--Climate Change Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat confused that the NDP would want to bring forward this motion saying that the committee has been playing games. The committee has not had a chance to properly consider the bill.

In the report we said that we had other reasons. The committee had delays in bringing forward the witnesses. We had an agreement at committee on how we would proceed in dealing with witnesses and making sure that we had a fulsome discussion on the bill.

There are merits in the bill and we have to take a look at them to make sure that they fit all the concerns that have been raised by witnesses. We also know there are many people who are not happy about the bill and we need to hear from everyone on this, from industry and climate scientists, and economists on how this could actually damage our economy in an irreversible manner.

I ask the member to reconsider bringing forward such a motion. All it does is bog down the committee with even more work which it does not necessarily need to undertake at this time. This motion brings before the House part of a bill that has not been considered, vented and amended by committee.

Bill C-311--Climate Change Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this bill has been before the committee for six months. If the committee believes it is a priority and an urgent matter, and I hope it would, it has had ample opportunity to examine the bill.

No one is suggesting that the committee not hear from witnesses or not examine the bill. The objection is that the committee made a decision, in our opinion, to deliberately delay the consideration of the bill in order to prevent it from being dealt with before the important world conference in Copenhagen in December. That is the issue. If the committee wants to do its job and hear from witnesses, it can go right ahead. That is what we want to see happen. We want the bill to be dealt with. We do not want it to be delayed.

I find the rationale, the excuses or whatever they are from the member to be very lame. I do not think he has answered the substantive question as to why it is that the bill is being delayed.