House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Oral Questions
Points of Order

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, upon reading the blues yesterday, I realized I may have used some unparliamentary language in my point of order addressing an answer I received from the hon. Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development during question period last week.

I would like to retract the language that may have come into question. However, it must be noted that the minister still quoted Mr. Matas out of context and he failed to address the seriousness of my question in the House.

Oral Questions
Points of Order

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre for her withdrawal because I think some of the remarks she made were perhaps unnecessary on the point of order. However, having heard the argument, I believe this is not a matter of order in the House but rather a question of debate that I am sure will be debated in due course over time. The member, as she knows, can raise the matter in the late show and have discussions then that might resolve the issue of the minister's quotes.

However, I do not believe it is for the Chair to intervene on the intent or purpose of these quotations or the meaning to be attributed to the words that were used, which the hon. member's point of order invites me to do. I am going to decline and leave the matter at that.

National Defence
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to supplementary estimates B for the year 2008-09.

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 first report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I am pleased to report that the committee has considered the supplementary estimates B under justice for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, and reports the same.

Italian-Canadian Recognition and Restitution Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-302, An Act to recognize the injustice that was done to persons of Italian origin through their “enemy alien” designation and internment during the Second World War, and to provide for restitution and promote education on Italian-Canadian history.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a bill to recognize the injustice that was done to persons of Italian origin through their “enemy alien” designation and internment during the Second World War, and to provide for restitution and promote education on Italian-Canadian history. The history is too long to explain and get into details at this time but that will be done at second reading.

However, during the Second World War, immigrants and Canadians of Italian origin were incarcerated and designated as enemy aliens. I tabled the same bill in 2005 prior to the Liberal government signing a deal with the Italian community to create the well-known ACE program, which would have righted these wrongs, but, in typical fashion, the Conservative government denied the existence of the program and decided not to honour the signed deals.

I re-tabled the bill in 2007. This bill is not unique or unprecedented in comparison to deals made with other cultural communities. Why do we not do the right thing and apologize to the Italian community for past injustices? Why does the government favour one community over another and pit Canadians against each other?

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-303, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (travel expenses).

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians are considering vacation destinations, how many of them think of Canadian destinations first? That is why I am proud to introduce a bill today that amends the Income Tax Act to make things easier for Canadians and encourage them to choose Canadian destinations.

Under this amendment, taxpayers will be entitled to deduct up to $2,000 from their income in respect of the expense of purchasing airplane, train or bus tickets for the taxpayer or the taxpayer's family members if the travel involves crossing at least three different provincial boundaries.

Promoting travel within Canada is a way to promote Canada's rich cultural diversity. If all Canadians had an easier opportunity to visit distant provinces, it would not only foster a stronger knowledge of our shared history, but would also promote a sense of unity and understanding among Canadians who otherwise seldom interact.

According to my calculations, with the additional money spent during these trips, the economic stimulus in this private member's bill would be revenue neutral for the finance department.

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

Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act
Routine Proceedings

February 10th, 2009 / 10:05 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-304, An Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Halifax for seconding the bill.

The bill would ensure adequate, accessible and affordable housing. There is no question that there is a housing crisis in this country. We know that at least three million Canadian households live in housing insecurity and that homelessness is a terrible crisis in many communities.

It is important that the federal government accept its responsibility for housing and work with the provinces, local communities and aboriginal representatives to ensure we deal with the housing problem.

The bill puts forward a strong plan to ensure that secure, adequate, affordable and accessible housing is there, that coop housing is developed, that housing for aboriginal people is developed and that housing is developed for people who are homeless. The bill calls on the federal government to work in a cooperative way with other partners to develop such a strategy and a program. We believe this is critical.

I hope all members of the House will consider the bill and support it because we need to ensure that we do not have a homelessness crisis and a housing crisis in a country as wealthy as Canada.

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

Bills of Exchange Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act (rights of bill holders).

Mr. Speaker, the bill before us today would protect consumers from lawsuits when cheque cashing businesses cash cancelled cheques. Under the current laws, which date back to the 1890s, businesses, such as Money Mart, can successfully sue the issuer of a cheque cashed by a third party even when a stop payment order has been issued.

I have had numerous examples brought to my attention of consumers who have been ripped off by an unsavoury business even when they tried to put a stop payment on a cheque or when problems developed. I am hoping the bill will have broad support from MPs because this is happening in every community because of a very archaic law.

The bill before us would put the onus on businesses to ensure that the cheques they cash have not had a stop payment put on them. It is a consumer protection bill that would save people much grief from dealing with financial organizations that operate in a way that rips off consumers.

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

Canadian Products Promotion Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-306, An Act respecting the use of government contracts to promote economic development.

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has a long history of innovation. We have been working on this bill for some time. Given the current economic situation, it is more important than ever that this bill be debated and passed in this House.

The purpose of this bill is to promote economic development in Canada and Quebec by ensuring that, in the procurement of its goods and services, the Government of Canada gives preference to Canadian products while complying with its international obligations, including NAFTA.

This bill also states that the price of a Canadian product may not exceed by more than 7.5% the price of a non-Canadian similar product. It also states that, to ensure fair treatment of all provinces, the Government of Canada shall not, in a fiscal year, obtain more than 50% of the value of its products from a single province.

I hope that the members will give this bill special consideration and that it will help the economy, which must overcome some serious challenges. I hope that my colleagues will vote in favour of this bill.

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

Official Languages Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-307, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (Charter of the French Language) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Rivière-du-Nord for seconding this bill titled An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (Charter of the French Language) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

This bill would amend the Official Languages Act so that the federal government, the federal administration and federal institutions recognize French as the official language of Quebec and as the common language spoken by Quebeckers.

This bill would also amend the Canada Labour Code to ensure that employees who work in businesses under federal jurisdiction are given the same guarantees and advantages as other Quebec workers, who are subject to the Charter of the French Language.

Finally, this bill would amend the Canada Business Corporations Act to ensure that company names also respect the Charter of the French Language.

I feel that this bill should receive the unanimous support of this House because it is quite simply the concrete expression of the motion adopted here, by the House, recognizing the Quebec nation. It is just a formality, and I am convinced that we will have the unanimous consent of the House to pass this bill quickly.

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

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-308, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (improvement of the employment insurance system).

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my hon. colleague from Saint-Lambert for seconding this bill.

This bill is without a doubt extremely important for unemployed workers, since it improves the employment insurance system. The priority remains improving access to the system, since over 55% of unemployed workers are excluded from it at this time. We would therefore like to reduce the qualifying period to a minimum of 360 hours of work.

We would also like to increase the benefit period, which is currently 45 weeks. The budget increases that period by five weeks, but we would like that increase to 50 weeks to become permanent. The bill also increases the rate of weekly benefits to 60% of a claimant's revenue.

In addition, we hope to eliminate the distinctions between a new entrant and a re-entrant to the labour force. Those distinctions are completely discriminatory. We must also eliminate the presumption that persons related to each other do not deal with each other at arm’s length, and increase the maximum yearly insurable earnings to $42,500.

The bill also adds a new part to the act relating to self-employed persons, including them in the employment insurance system.

As I said, it is an extremely important bill. All parties in this House have agreed that access to the employment insurance system and the benefits themselves must be improved. Our bill aims to do just that. I encourage all members to support it.

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

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Northern Ontario Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-309, An Act to establish the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Northern Ontario.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie for his support.

I am pleased to present my private member's bill, which looks to establish the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the region of northern Ontario. The purpose of this bill is to promote economic development, economic diversification and job creation in communities in northern Ontario.

In light of what has gone on in the last budget, we see a differentiation between agencies and programs. It should be equal. There should not be one area having a superior status over another.

Regional development is crucial to the people of northern Ontario and my bill is designed to ensure that FedNor will not be subject to any more cuts or face the threat of elimination altogether by the current Conservative government.

I look forward to the successful passing of this proposed legislation.

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

Air Passengers' Bill of Rights
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-310, An Act to Provide Certain Rights to Air Passengers.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill that would provide compensation to air passengers and a bill of rights protecting travellers in Canada.

The bill includes measures on compensation for overbooked flights, unreasonable tarmac delays, cancelled or delayed flights, the concern for late and misplaced luggage, and all-inclusive pricing by airline companies in their advertising.

The legislation is inspired by a European Union law, where overbookings have dropped significantly. Air Canada is already operating under the European laws in their flights to Europe. Why should an Air Canada customer receive better treatment in Europe than in Canada?

The bill of rights would ensure that passengers are kept informed of flight changes, whether they are delays or cancellations. The new rules would be posted in the airport and airlines would have to inform passengers of their rights and the process to file for compensation.

The changes are not meant to punish the airlines. If the airlines were to follow the rules, they would not have to pay $1 in compensation to travellers.

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

Climate Change Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-311, An Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change.

Mr. Speaker, I feel honoured to reintroduce the climate change accountability act. This act would ensure that Canada would assume its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change. It received the gracious support of a majority of members in the House this last Parliament, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from all parties to make sure that this vital legislation gets passed as quickly as possible.

Recent developments make it even more urgent that we take immediate steps to deal with greenhouse gas emissions. This act would set firm targets to reduce Canadian emissions. It would set clear objectives that would have to be met on fixed dates. It would help safeguard future generations from the dangerous effects of climate change and it would make us credible again in the eyes of the world.

We must not delay action any longer.

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

Made in Canada Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-312, An Act respecting the use of government procurements and transfers to promote economic development.

Mr. Speaker, I am privileged today to introduce the made in Canada act.

This act respecting the use of government procurements and transfers to promote economic development would stimulate employment and Canadian industry. It would do this by ensuring that our government maintains a minimum level of Canadian content in the procurement of our products and in federally supported infrastructure projects.

A discussion of this must be started if we are to get serious about stimulating our economy and not just stimulating jobs and industries overseas. Our major trading partners, like Europe, Mexico and the U.S.A., have had such policies in place for decades.

This act is intended to catch up and get the best value from hard-earned Canadian taxpayers' dollars.

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