House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

(Motion agreed to)

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

December 3rd, 2009 / 1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, as we are getting closer to the Christmas break, it is important to continually remind the government with regard to its responsibilities related to pensioners and, in particular, Nortel pensioners and those under Nortel who have disability benefits being taking away from them.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to amend the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to protect the rights of Canadian employees and to ensure that laid off employees who are receiving a pension or long-term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings obtain preferred creditor status over other unsecured creditors. They also ask that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act be amended to ensure that employee-related claims are paid from the proceeds of Canadian assets before funds are permitted to leave the country.

It is an important petition and I hope the government will heed the pleading of these petitioners.

Rural Post Offices
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions: one from the municipality of Saint Michel signed by 282 people and the other from the municipality of Saint Édouard signed by 229 people.

The petitioners are calling on the federal government to maintain the moratorium on rural post office closures because they believe that the post office plays a key role in the economic and social life of their region and their municipality. That is the reason they are asking the government to maintain the moratorium that is so important in their view.

Employment Insurance
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Madam Speaker, I am tabling a petition today that was signed by dozens of people from Saskatchewan.

The petitioners point out that they have paid into EI all of their working lives, but now that they need the safety net they themselves built, it is no longer there for them.

They therefore call for a comprehensive overhaul of the employment insurance system. Specifically, they call for a standardized 360 hours to qualify, an increased benefit period of at least 50 weeks, the elimination of the two-week waiting period, benefits at 60% of normal earnings based on the best 12 weeks and a bigger investment in training and retraining.

The petitioners are keenly aware that successive Liberal and Conservative governments diverted $54 billion of worker and employer contributions to EI and used that money to pay down the debt and deficit rather than used it to provide help for the involuntarily unemployed during economic downturns. That misappropriation only heightens the moral obligation for the government to restore the integrity of the EI system.

To that end, they call upon the government to respect the will of Parliament and act immediately on the comprehensive NDP motion that was passed in the House of Commons to restore the integrity of the employment insurance system.

Protection of Human Life
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to present this petition on behalf of petitioners who note that Canada is a country which respects human rights and in fact includes in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms the right to life. They note that it has been 40 years, since May 14, 1969, that Parliament changed the law to permit abortion in the country and that since January 28, 1988, Canada has no law at all to protect the right of unborn children.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until the time of natural death.

Air Passengers' Bill of Rights
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, my petition is a call to adopt Canada's first air passenger bill of rights.

The petitioners support Bill C-310, which includes compensation for overbooked flights, cancelled flights and unreasonable tarmac delays. The legislation is inspired by a European Union law. Air Canada already operates under the European laws for its flights to Europe. Why should an Air Canada customer receive better treatment in Europe than in Canada?

The bill would ensure that passengers would be kept informed of flight changes, whether there were delays or cancellations. The new rules would be posted at the airports and airlines would inform passengers of their rights and the process to file for compensation. The bill would deal with late and misplaced baggage. It would also require all-inclusive pricing by airline companies to be in their advertisements.

Bill C-310 is not meant to punish the airlines. If the airlines follow the rules, they will not have to pay a dime in compensation to passengers.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to support Bill C-310, which would introduce Canada's first air passenger bill of rights.

Canada Post Corporation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I am proud to present petitions signed by hundreds of Ontarians regarding the direction in which the government is taking Canada Post.

The petitioners, in part, call upon the government to instruct Canada Post to maintain, expand and improve postal services, as well to maintain the moratorium on post office closures. Most important, they call upon the government to withdraw Bill C-44, which would privatize Canada Post through the back door, and Canadians want no part of it.

Patent Act
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition that was organized by the Grandmothers for Grandmothers campaign who wanted to see Bill C-393 pass through the House to committee.

They are delighted with the results of the vote in the House last night. They urge all parliamentarians to continue working on the bill to ensure that necessary medications get to those countries that cannot otherwise afford them to deal with such horrible and deathly diseases as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

On behalf of everyone in the House, I would like to thank the grandmothers again for their great work on this issue.

Fraser River Sockeye
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, today I would like to present a petition with 187 signatures from across B.C.

The petitioners are calling on the government to take a look at what is happening on the west coast and the fisheries. The petitioners are asking Parliament to urgently call on the government to establish an independent judicial inquiry under the federal Inquiries Act that would fully explore all the facts, consult with scientists and stakeholders, and determine what went wrong with this year's sockeye run, and present a public report with binding solutions.

One of the things they underline here in their petition is that they want to ensure that this is done within a certain timeframe, and they have asked that this be done within six months.

Finally, they say that it has been since 2006 that the Conservative government promised to have an independent judicial inquiry, so they would ask that this be done with haste to determine what happened to the missing salmon.

International Aid
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to table a petition on the issue of AIDS in Africa.

The Canadian Grandmothers for Africa are calling for the House of Commons to immediately set a timetable to meet, by 2015, a 40-year-old promise to contribute 0.7% of our gross national income to development assistance; to contribute its share to the global funds to fight AIDS, TB and malaria with 5% of the funding needed for each of the next five years; and to make the legislative changes necessary for Canada's access to medicines regime to facilitate the immediate and sustainable flow of low cost, generic medications to developing countries.

As a representative who actually sat on the original hearings on this in 2002, it is very important that the petitioners see justice on this file because only one application for generic drugs has been sent to Africa and this is a solution that we can implement immediately for these petitioners who have submitted this petition.

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Simcoe North, ON

Madam Speaker, I wish to table a petition here on behalf of a number of residents in my riding. They are seeking much more fulsome controls in respect to the use of asbestos in materials and products in Canada, and for a program to help the transition of asbestos workers in the communities in which they live.

International Aid
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition on behalf of Canadian Grandmothers for Africa, a national organization that has done great advocacy work regarding the situation of HIV-AIDS in Africa.

They are calling upon Parliament to immediately meet the long-term promise to contribute 0.7% of our gross national income for development assistance. They are also calling for strong Canadian support for the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We know that Canada needs to strengthen its commitment there.

They are also calling for support for the kind of measure that this House passed last night to ensure that Canada's access to medicines regime facilitates a sustainable flow of lower cost generic drugs to developing countries.

International Aid
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition by the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign regarding the fight against AIDS in Africa and throughout the world.

Canadians from Alberta and Ontario are calling on the government to play a role in the fight against AIDS not only in our own country, but throughout the world. They want us to help communities by providing drugs and general support.

This also concerns the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Tuberculosis is a problem in a number of our first nations communities and in our own country. People are calling on the government to lead by example.

International Aid
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very honoured to rise to bring forward this petition today on the need for a strategy to help those in sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the third world who suffer from HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

I had the great honour of sitting with the member for Winnipeg North at the meetings to establish all parliamentary support to fight maternal mortality rates in Africa, and we made such great progress. I see the great progress the member for Winnipeg North has made in terms of fighting to access generic drugs, so that they can be used in situations where there is dire poverty in Africa.

The Chair will remember last night's vote, when we were able to vote on this as a Parliament. It was a very proud moment for me. This is exactly in the spirit of this petition and what the petitioners are asking for. They are asking for leadership from the Parliament of Canada, from the legislators of Canada, to understand the dire situation facing people in sub-Saharan Africa, who are dying from diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, who are suffering from HIV, and who do not have access to simple drugs that we take for granted in Canada.

The petitioners are calling on some very straightforward and simple steps to be taken by Canada to show leadership, that we set a timetable to meet by 2015 the 40-year-old promise to contribute 0.7% of our gross national income to development assistance; to contribute a fair share to the global fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria; and to make the legislative changes necessary for Canada's access to medicines regime to facilitate the immediate and sustainable flow of lower cost generic medicines to developing countries. I think all members in this House would support such a motion.

International Aid
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Speaker, the petition I have, among many others, is actually signed by one of our former colleagues, the former parliamentary leader of our party, Bill Blaikie. He joins with many others who are calling for action in conjunction with the Canadian Grandmothers for Africa, which is a remarkable movement of grandmothers who have linked with grandmothers in Africa, who are facing the catastrophe of having lost their daughters and they are having to raise their grandchildren.

They are at the forefront of a campaign for international economic aid, particularly to achieve the 0.7% of gross national product to development assistance. They are also calling for Canada to contribute its fair share of the funding needed for the global fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria for each of the next five years. This would be a lifesaving measure.

The petitioners are also calling for legislative changes, which we are happy to report are now moving forward to the standing committee to ensure that medications could be made available to the people who need them in Africa.