House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was legislation.

Topics

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very proud to rise to present a petition signed by the good people of the north from Timmins, Cochrane, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls and Monteith. They are concerned about the crisis in funding at the CBC and the complete failure of the federal government to work to secure the public broadcaster.

We have seen major job losses across northern Ontario. The ability of the public broadcaster to reflect a vast region of the country has been severely compromised because of the government's refusal to work on a bridge financing plan. The petitioners point out that the bridge financing plan presented to the government would not have cost the taxpayers a single cent.

We see the federal government's ongoing hostility to the public broadcaster in Canada. It is certainly upsetting to the people of northern Ontario who are dependent upon CBC for their radio coverage.

The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to push the government to start living up to some of its basic obligations to ensure a vital and strong public broadcaster in this country.

Anti-Bullying Day
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a petition signed by several thousand people from my riding and clear across Canada, drawing attention to the issue of bullying in Canada and the serious problem we face.

Many organizations are trying to prevent this in our schools, as well as the problems that arise later on. They are asking Parliament to declare December 17, Blue Day, an official day to recognize the work of these organizations in Canada.

Some have stressed how a recent TV show on MTV has played up bullying as a normal course of events. The petitioners are seriously concerned that this TV show plays up bullying as something that can be dealt with force on force when that is not what we should be trying to do.

Rights of the Unborn
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of my constituents.

As citizens of a country who respect human rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the petitioners draw attention to the right to life, even for the unborn. The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation that will guarantee the protection of human rights from the time of conception until natural death.

Falun Gong Practitioners
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present three petitions.

In the first, the undersigned residents of Canada draw the attention of the House of Commons to the fact that since July 1999 the Chinese Communist Party has launched an eradication campaign against Falun Gong.

They urgently call upon the Canadian government to help stop these atrocities by taking the following actions: condemn the Communist regime for committing these crimes against humanity; urge the Chinese regime to end the persecution of Falun Gong and release all Falun Gong practitioners; and take active measures to help stop the mass killing and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.

Automotive Industry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, in the second petition, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to compel vehicle manufacturers to make service and repair technical information and tools available to independent service providers at a fair price, which is done in other jurisdictions, by passing and implementing appropriate measures. This is from the constituents of Edmonton Centre.

Children in Separation or Divorce
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, the third petition is again from the constituents of Edmonton Centre, submitted on behalf of the children of separation and divorce, the petitioners call upon Parliament to base legislation on incorporating the rights of children and principles of equality between and among parents.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

June 9th, 2009 / 12:45 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 147 and 150.

Question No. 147
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

With respect to the Canadian foreign aid committed to the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka: (a) how is aid being delivered to the conflict zone, by which international channels and organizations; (b) where is the money going and toward which specific initiatives; (c) how are decisions about funding allocations made and based on what recommendations; and (d) what, if any, accountability measures are in place to assure that the funds are reaching identified recipients?

Question No. 147
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, in response to a) CIDA is providing assistance to trusted humanitarian partners through multilateral, NGO and Red Cross channels. Specifically, the organizations receiving CIDA funds are: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR; the United Nations World Food Programme, WFP; the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC; Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, MSF; Care; Oxfam Canada and World Vision.

In response to b) CIDA funding has been provided in response to appeals for humanitarian operations in Sri Lanka from UN partners and the ICRC and based on proposals from Canadian NGOs. Since January 2009, CIDA has provided $7.5 million in humanitarian funding in Sri Lanka this year to partners for the provision of humanitarian assistance, including food, medical assistance, emergency shelter, protection, clean water, and sanitation services activities.

In response to c) CIDA's International Humanitarian Assistance Directorate reviews emergency appeals issued by multilateral partners and the ICRC and project proposals submitted by NGOs. Following consultations with CIDA’s Sri Lanka geographic program, Canada’s Embassy to Sri Lanka, and other government departments, a recommendation is made to the Minister of International Cooperation for approval. In general, CIDA supports appeals that: provide a thorough assessment of the situation and humanitarian needs; respond to the most critical humanitarian needs in a given situation; come from organizations in a given context that have a proven capacity and are the best placed to deliver effective programming; operate in an environment that is conducive to the delivery of humanitarian activities, for example, questions around security, access of our partners to the affected populations.

In response to d) Potential partners are vetted based on their reputation, capacity to respond and proven track record and appeals and proposals are considered based on their ability to meet the most urgent needs of affected populations.

CIDA staff located in Colombo at the Canadian embassy monitors ongoing projects. CIDA has also deployed one of its humanitarian officers to Sri Lanka to monitor programming and the general situation as it has evolved over the past weeks. CIDA has weekly calls with its NGO partners to get the latest report on their activities and the situation on the ground. CIDA also relies on a range of external sources that report on the situation: UN and Red Cross situation reports, OCHA’s Integrated Regional Information Network, IRIN, media reports, et cetera.

All partners are required to submit final financial and narrative reports demonstrating the results achieved with the funds provided by CIDA. Further, with regard to multilateral partners and the ICRC, CIDA holds a position on executive boards/committees and donor support groups that allows the agency to be briefed on the use of Government of Canada funding and the extent to which needs of beneficiaries are being met.

Question No. 150
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With respect to Canada’s humanitarian, reconstruction and foreign aid to the Palestinian people living in the occupied Palestinian territories: (a) what is the current status of the $300 million in foreign aid originally pledged in 2006 and re-pledged March 3, 2009 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt; (b) what progress was made on delivering these funds in the interim period between its original pledge and its re-pledge; (c) what are the delivery mechanisms for this aid and what department is responsible for the file; (d) what are the terms of reference for this file, and what are the timelines for delivery; (e) what proportion of these funds have been earmarked for Gaza and what are the proportions for each (i) reconstruction, (ii) humanitarian aid; (f) given the lack of construction materials within Gaza and the constrained flow of material into Gaza, what provisions have been made to ensure reconstruction; (g) what discussions, if any, have taken place with the Government of Israel to ensure protection of Canada’s investment in Gazan infrastructure; (h) what proportion of the $300 million has been earmarked for the operational budget of the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority (PA), based in Ramallah, West Bank and what aspects of the PA’s budget will benefit from these funds; (i) given the PA’s inability to operate in Gaza, what operational caveats were placed on those portions of the $300 million earmarked for Gaza to ensure delivery; (j) what is the current status of the $4 million announced by the Government of Canada on January 7, 2009 for humanitarian aid at the height of Israel’s military operation on Gaza, to be divided between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East and the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent; (k) what commitments, if any, were made to deliver these funds in a timely manner to the people for whom they were allocated and how did they help alleviate the suffering of civilians under duress as a result of Israel’s bombardment; (l) were these funds delivered (i) if not, why, and what is the current status of the funds, (ii) if so, how, and what were the delivery mechanisms for this aid, the Canadian federal department responsible for the file and the terms of reference for the file; (m) what were, or are expected to be, the concrete outcomes of the funds in terms of medicines, foodstuffs, shelter, water or other material; (n) was the aid delivered, or will it be delivered, through Egypt or Israel; (o) was the aid at any point inhibited by Israel’s restrictions on aid flow during the military operation and, if so, what plans, if any, does the government have to hold public debate on this matter and how will this affect future Canadian aid flow to Gaza; and (p) what other funds have been allocated by the government for Gaza?

Question No. 150
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, in response to a) The $300 million, five-year pledge was made at the Paris Donors’ Conference in December 2007.

The Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA, is responsible for the disbursement of $50 million a year over five fiscal years (2008-09 to 2012-13) for a total of $250 million of the $300 million pledge. The funds are being disbursed as part of the building of courthouses as well as the training of judges. Canada’s commitment is conditional on both the pace of Palestinian reform and the progress in the Middle East peace talks. The government of Canada evaluates these conditions in consultation with its allies and other donors.

In response to b) In fiscal year 2008-09, disbursements from CIDA’s West Bank and Gaza bilateral program, including regional programming, amounted to $51 million.

In response to c) CIDA, DFAIT and DND are each responsible for their own commitments under the pledge. CIDA uses Canadian partners, international non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and other multilateral organizations.

In response to d) The terms of reference are set by the announcement of the Government of Canada at the Paris Donor’s Conference. The timeline for delivery is set over the five-year period from 2008-09 through 2012-13.

In response to e) No set proportions of the $300 million, five-year pledge have been established for humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

In response to f) CIDA does not intend to finance reconstruction efforts in Gaza.

In response to g) CIDA has not had discussions with the Government of Israel regarding reconstruction in Gaza as CIDA is not financing reconstruction in Gaza.

In response to h) CIDA has not set a specific proportion of the $300 million, five-year pledge to be used as budge support for the Palestinian Authority.

In response to i) CIDA chooses partners such as United Nations Relief Works Agency, UNRWA, that have the capacity to deliver aid in Gaza.

In response to j) The funds were fully disbursed to UNRWA and the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, in mid-January 2009.

In response to k) CIDA chooses experienced partners with the capacity to deliver and distribute aid into Gaza. Funding helped provide water, food and hygiene kits, as well as emergency shelter and essential household goods. It also helped provide water where supply had been disrupted. It helped supply repairs to damaged homes, cash assistance for temporary accommodation, medical treatment and fuel to municipalities and utilities to provide public services.

In response to l) The $4 million in assistance announced on January 7, 2009 was delivered. Grant agreements were the delivery mechanism. The terms of reference of the assistance were set out in the contracts signed with UNRWA and the ICRC. CIDA was the federal department responsible.

In response to m) The expected outcomes to which CIDA contributed were: basic food packages to 130,000 families, temporary emergency shelter and non-food items for up to 5,000 displaced persons, repair of 5,000 damaged or destroyed shelters, provision of cash assistance to families for temporary accommodation and medical treatment, 500,000 litres of fuel to municipalities and utilities for public services, providing water to communities, emergency rehabilitation of water treatment facilities serving 400,000 people in the WestBank and Gaza, providing food and hygiene kits to cover the needs of up to 3,000 households, providing emergency shelter and essential household equipment to up to 1,000 households, and providing emergency medical care and supplies including 2,000 first aid kits, surgical equipment for 10 hospitals, supplies for and facilitating the movement of ambulances.

In response to n) The assistance was delivered through Israel.

In response to o) CIDA has chosen partners such as UNRWA and the ICRC that have the capacity to work in Gaza and deliver projects.

In response to p) In addition to the funds approved for UNRWA and the ICRC in January 2009, CIDA is supporting projects from a number of trusted partners, including the World Food Program, United Nations Development Program and UNICEF.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, if Question No. 146 could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Is it the pleasure of the House that Question No. 146 be made an order for return and that it be tabled immediately?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 146
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

With regard to Passport Canada, since January 2008, by month and region: (a) how many part-time service agents have been hired; and (b) how many full-time service agents have been hired?