House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nuclear.

Topics

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(a)(iii) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the review of Standing Order 153 on list of reports, and Standing Order 156 on editorial corrections.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. In accordance with its order of reference on Thursday, February 26, 2009, the committee has considered vote 5 of the House of Commons, under Parliament, in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, and reports the same.

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-387, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (exemption from taxation of 50% of United States social security payments to Canadian residents).

Mr. Speaker, this is a bill that, interestingly enough, first surfaced in this chamber from the current Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. It has been reincarnated on a number of occasions by myself and the member for Essex. It would redress a gross injustice to people who receive social security benefits while living in this country.

The former Liberal government made a major change, which I believe was a grossly improper one. This would rectify it so that the social security payments received in Canada would be treated the same as the Canada pension plan benefits that are received in the United States and taxed there by that government.

Right now, we are substantially overtaxing these benefits received by Canadians living in Canada but receiving social security benefits from the United States.

I would also thank my seconder, the member for Burnaby—Douglas.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-388, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (judicial discretion).

Mr. Speaker, the bill is an attempt on my part to introduce the concept of judicial discretion in exceptional circumstances. It follows a model that, from my observations and study of the British system, has worked very well there.

The legislature in the U.K. has repeatedly, as we have here, passed measures for mandatory minimums. However, the U.K. has a very special provision, and this would echo it, that allows judges in exceptional circumstances to, in effect, override the mandatory minimum.

It reflects the reality of human life, that there are exceptional circumstances where the mandatory minimums just do not make sense, and are not fair and just. This section would allow our judiciary, which I believe to be the best in the world, to exercise that discretion in the appropriate circumstances.

Again I thank the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas for seconding the bill.

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

Canadian Human Rights Act
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-389, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh for seconding the bill.

The bill will add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code sections regarding hate crimes and sentencing provisions, providing explicit protection for transgender and transsexual Canadians from discrimination in all areas of federal jurisdiction.

Transsexual and transgender Canadians face significant prejudice in their daily lives. Whether it is job discrimination, access to housing and public services, especially health care, problems with identity documents, difficulties with law enforcement officials, a high suicide rate, or the increased likelihood that they will be victims of violence, the situation of transsexual and transgender people demands our attention.

The bill would give transsexual and transgender Canadians direct access to the protections provided for in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada that they so urgently need.

I look forward to seeing the bill debated this fall in the next round of private members' business. Given that transgender and transsexual folks are members of our families, our friends, our co-workers, and our neighbours, I hope this measure will find support in all corners of the House.

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

Conscientious Objection Act
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-390, An Act respecting conscientious objection to the use of taxes for military purposes.

Mr. Speaker, today is International Conscientious Objectors' Day. It is a very appropriate day to reintroduce a private member's bill, seconded by the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh, that would allow Canadians who object on conscientious or religious grounds to paying taxes for military purposes to divert their income tax to a special conscientious objector or peace tax account. That account could only be used for purposes other than military expenditures.

The bill would recognize the deeply held views, often related to deeply held religious convictions of some Canadians, that participating in any way in the activities of war and the accumulation of weapons sanctions and perpetuates killing and violence.

The bill would provide an important option for conscientious objection and ensure that the tax dollars of those Canadians who hold these beliefs are spent for peaceful purposes.

A particular feature of the bill is that regulations should be developed in consultation with the Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, Conscience Canada, the Mennonite Central Committee Canada, and Nos impôts pour la paix.

It has been an honour to work with Conscience Canada on this project.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-391, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act (repeal of long-gun registry).

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today to table my private member's bill. I would like to thank the member of Parliament for Yorkton—Melville for his seconding my bill and also for his tireless work on this issue.

The purpose of the bill is to ensure that the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry comes to an end. The registry has cost Canadians so much and has given them virtually nothing in return. Not only has the cost been in real taxpayer dollars, but the tax has also been borne by law-abiding Canadian hunters, farmers and sport shooters who have been treated like criminals under the terms of this 10 year old registry.

It is time to focus on those individuals, the real criminals, who use firearms for all the wrong reasons. I believe many of my colleagues on both sides of the House and their constituents would agree that it is time to end the long-gun registry. I want to work with my fellow MPs to see this bill passed so that we can all have the satisfaction of knowing we have worked in the best interest of those people who have elected us, and indeed, of all Canadians. I believe with this bill that outcome can be achieved.

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

Sri Lanka
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

May 15th, 2009 / 12:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents in the Canadian Tamil community I have a petition to present that calls upon the Government of Canada to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka not to deny the Tamil population food, shelter, medicine and other fundamental necessities; to allow the UN and other international relief agencies access to the areas affected by the conflict; to stop the shelling and bombing of civilians, hospitals, schools, and places of worship; and to take active and concrete measures by providing leadership to convince the international community and agencies to allow international UN observer panels to monitor the human rights violations and bring the perpetrators to justice, as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Governor General.

Employment Insurance
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today, both from members of my riding of Elgin—Middlesex—London and the surrounding area, pertaining to changes in the EI system.

Employment Insurance
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present three petitions today. The first is signed by 27 of my constituents, calling on the government to make changes to employment insurance.

Volunteer Service Medal
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from 31 Canadians to introduce a new volunteer service medal to acknowledge and recognize volunteerism by Canadian troops.

Whereas during a specified period of service to their country, Canadians, from September 3, 1939, to March 1, 1947, received the Canadian volunteer service medal, and during a specified period of service to their country, Canadians, from June 27, 1950, to July 27, 1954, received the Canadian volunteer service medal for Korea, the petition calls for the issuance of the Governor General's Volunteer Service Medal for volunteer service by Canadians in the regular and reserve military forces and cadet corps support staff who were not eligible for the aforementioned medals and who have completed 365 days of interrupted honourable duty in the service of their country, Canada, since March 2, 1947.

Protection of Human Life
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is from 200 Canadians, to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception, fertilization until natural death.

It reads in part that whereas Canada is a country that respects human rights and includes in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that everyone has the right to life and whereas it has been 40 years since May 14, 1969, when Parliament changed the law to permit abortion and since January 28, 1988, Canada has had no law to protect the lives of unborn children, the petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception, fertilization until natural death.

Sri Lanka
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today. The first is signed by over 100 members of the Tamil community and other concerned Canadians from the Toronto and Scarborough areas of southern Ontario.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to use every diplomatic means at its disposal to seek an immediate end to the violence in Sri Lanka; to push the Sri Lankan government to respect human rights in north Sri Lanka and respect the human rights of the civilian Tamil population; and work towards a process of peace and reconciliation with all citizens of Sri Lanka.

Members of the Tamil community and other concerned Canadians are sending in hundreds and hundreds of pages of petitions about the violence in Sri Lanka. Other petitions are available at www.peterjulian.ca.

Canada-Colombia Trade Agreement
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, there are over 200 petitioners on the Canada-Colombia trade deal. These are from across Canada, from the Lower Mainland right through to Nova Scotia, including Thunder Bay and Newfoundland.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to stop the process around the Canada-Colombia trade deal. As the House knows, tens of thousands of Canadians have written to the government to say that the Canada-Columbia trade deal should not be implemented and that a full and impartial human rights assessment should be done before there are any further negotiations with the Colombian government.

Those petitions continue to pour in. We are hoping the government will listen to Canadian citizens who write to it.

Immigration
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I have a third petition regarding the immigration amendments that were brought forward by the Conservative government. This is from petitioners in Burnaby, New Westminster and throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to abandon these changes to the immigration act that have been introduced and to increase staffing in overseas visa offices to deal with the tremendous immigration backlog in Canadians offices overseas.

Nuclear Disarmament
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have one petition, certified by the Clerk of Petitions, that is signed by residents of my riding of Kitchener—Waterloo and organized by a group called Project Ploughshares. This is a national organization committed to global peace and disarmament, which is based in my riding.

The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to seek a review within NATO of its nuclear weapons policies.