House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

Sri Lanka
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of a number of residents in my community, calling on the Government of Canada to pressure the government of Sri Lanka to lay down its arms, to bring about an immediate ceasefire, to allow human rights monitoring in the war zone, and to allow non-governmental agencies to begin distributing aid in the war zone.

I support the petition and I am happy to present it on their behalf today.

Human Trafficking
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present two petitions from people all across Canada, calling on the government to continue its work against the human trafficking issue in Canada. There are close to 500 names on one petition and 500 on another.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 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

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Automotive Industry
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The Chair has received an application for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Guelph. I will be happy to hear him on this point now.

Automotive Industry
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate being given this opportunity. I am certain that you are aware of the importance of the auto sector to Canada's economy. The auto industry has rightfully received a considerable amount of attention on the floor of the House, particularly in recent months.

General Motors and Chrysler presented plans to the government on Friday, requesting substantial funding and plans for reorganization that will touch the constituencies of many members in the House. The industry tells us that sales are down 23% over one year, 15% in December alone, and production is down 50%. In fact, 250 to 300 dealerships may be closing their doors. General Motors has indicated that it will be forced to reduce its Canadian workforce to 7,000 employees by 2010, a dramatic change from its 20,000 employees in 2005.

Today, Statistics Canada released figures indicating that the decline in the auto sector led to the significant decline in retail sales in December. Retail sales were down 5.4% in December to $33 billion, the largest monthly decline in over 15 years. Clearly, this is an issue that requires the urgent consideration of the House. I think it is imperative that we have an opportunity to have that debate today. Thousands of jobs have already been lost.

My riding of Guelph is home to a significant auto parts industry and the crisis in the auto sector touches many jobs right across Guelph's local economy. People are frightened and they are looking to the government for action at this critical time. I believe that Canadians expect us to share their priorities. Emergency debates provide a venue for Parliament to discuss those issues that are of critical importance. Thousands of jobs are on the line right now and it is imperative that Parliament be engaged in that debate.

If ever there were facts that give definition to the word emergency, they would be these. I would ask that we have this debate immediately.

Automotive Industry
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Guelph for his submissions on this point. I do not disagree that the matter is one of some urgency, but it has been an issue that has been canvassed, certainly in the media and indeed in the House in questions over the last several weeks.

I do note that there are two opposition days scheduled for this week, one tomorrow and one on Thursday. I have every reason to expect that the subject the hon. member has raised could be the subject of debate on one of the opposition days, one of which is available to the party he is a member of.

Accordingly I am going to refuse the request at this time and we will see what happens over the course of the week.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-11, An Act to promote safety and security with respect to human pathogens and toxins, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Resuming debate. Is the House ready for the question?

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Health.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)