House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

October 27th, 2010 / 3:15 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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to 17 petitions.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House the report from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the ninth Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting.

Justice and Human Rights
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In accordance with the order of reference of Monday, October 25, your committee has considered Bill S-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime), and agreed on Tuesday, October 26, to report it without amendment.

Canada Transportation Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-586, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (producer railway cars).

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to introduce this bill today, a bill to amend the Canada Transportation Act in respect to producer car loading sites.

These sites across the Prairies, close to 300 of them, are crucial to every farmer's individual right to load his or her own grain cars for shipment to export, avoiding the regular grain elevator system. For more than 100 years, following a landmark case in the Supreme Court of Canada, farmers have had the right to load their own cars. The vast majority of grain, of course, is shipped in the conventional way, using and paying for the facilities of grain companies, but the Supreme Court ruled that farmers have the right to do it themselves as a safety valve against commercial exploitation.

Over the past decade, the number of producer cars ordered and shipped by individual farmers has nearly quadrupled, but at the same time, the number of railway sidings where loading sites are available has been more than cut in half. The accelerating closure of these sidings is the issue dealt with in this bill.

Closure can now be done on 60 days' notice with no due process for farmers. This bill would provide a longer notice period and a hearing process, and it would shift the onus onto the railways to show how the closure of a particular producer car siding is in the public interest. If they cannot discharge that onus, then the closure would not occur.

I know this measure has broad support among Prairie farmers, and I would urge all members of the House to support it too.

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

Canada Transportation Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-587, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (railway noise and vibration control).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present the railway noise and vibration control act. I would like to pay tribute to the Quayside Community Board, particularly James Crosty and Brian Allen, who have been steadfast in pushing forward on this issue.

As members well know, many residents of our communities across the country cannot get a good night's sleep because of shunting, coupling, decoupling and excessive noise from railway operations in residential areas. This new bill would actually allow for the curtailing of railway operations at night, so there would be no more 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. wake-up calls because of shunting, coupling and decoupling.

The railway companies have not been co-operative. Some existing amendments to the Canada Transportation Act have not been met with a kind of conciliatory approach by railways, and that is why we need to put in place something that protects the residents of these residential areas across the country.

Whether we are talking about residents of Burnaby—New Westminster, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto or Halifax, every Canadian deserves a good night's sleep, and that is why I am presenting this bill today.

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

Foreign Affairs
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition signed by a large number of Canadian citizens who identify themselves as “grandmothers for Gilad Shalit”. This petition is grounded in a profound commitment to international law and human rights.

The petitioners protest his abduction from Israel during a ceasefire arrangement with Hamas-ruled Gaza, where he has been held in complete isolation for more than four years and, as the petitioners note, has been denied any and all rights afforded to him under international humanitarian law.

Accordingly, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to insist that the Red Cross, the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies uphold the applicable standards of international humanitarian law, including proof of life, visitation rights and communication between him and his family as a bare minimum. They also call upon the Government of Canada to condition Canadian aid transferred to Gaza on adherence to these basic principles: that the Palestinian Authority commit itself to his repatriation and that Canada use its good offices to put an end to these violations of international humanitarian law to secure his release and return him to his family as a matter of fundamental decency and justice.

Right to Life
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by hundreds of individuals who are concerned that, although the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects human life for decades, there has been no law protecting life before birth, and they are calling on the Parliament of Canada to do just that.

Veterans Affairs
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. speaker, I have a petition from citizens across many communities and from all walks of life who wish Parliament to know that they genuinely support and value the contributions of our veterans and that they regard a veteran as a veteran, regardless of which deployment or where an individual may have served.

The petitioners join the Veterans Ombudsman and General Walter Natynczyk in condemning the new veterans charter and the Department of Veterans Affairs for creating barriers to serving Canada's veterans.

The petitioners also demand that existing services, such as veterans' hospitals, be mandated to serve modern-day veterans, including the more than 200,000 members of the armed forces who have served in peacekeeping missions since the Korean war.

The petitioners want a full hearing in the House of Commons in response to the issue of pensions, special care program services and the preservation of an independent Department of Veterans Affairs, and they want Parliament to act to ensure veterans and their families receive the supports they have been promised and to which they are entitled as members of the armed forces, past, present and future.

Cannabis
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition today signed by a large group of constituents from my riding, who want the use of cannabis to be legalized. They believe that in a free and democratic society such as ours, citizens should have the right to make informed decisions about their behaviour, provided that they cause no significant harm to others.

They firmly believe that the use of cannabis falls in this category of behaviour. They believe that, since this drug is no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco, which are both legal, why not give cannabis the same treatment? That is the question they are asking. Therefore, I am presenting this petition.

Right to Life
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by hundreds of constituents in my riding and across Toronto, the GTA.

The petitioners call upon the Canadian government, through the Canadian charter and recognizing that Canada is a country that respects human rights and includes in the charter that everyone and every individual has the right to life; 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 the unborn, the petitioners therefore call upon this Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life, from the time of conception until natural death.

Animal Welfare
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to submit a petition that has been submitted by constituents of my riding of Leeds—Grenville as well as some surrounding ridings.

The petitioners call on the House of Commons to support private member's Bill C-544, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act, thus prohibiting the importation or exportation of horses for slaughter for human consumption as well as horse meat products for human consumption.

Passport Fees
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, my petition calls upon the Canadian government to negotiate with the United States government to reduce the United States and Canadian passport fees. The number of American tourists visiting Canada is at its lowest level since 1972. It has fallen by five million visits in the last seven years, from 16 million in 2002 to only 11 million in 2009.

Passport fees for an American family of four can be over $500 U.S. While 50% of Canadians have passports, only 25% of Americans do.

At the recent Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council and State Governments, attended by myself and over 500 elected representatives from 11 border states and three provinces, a resolution was passed unanimously. It reads as follows:

...that [the] Conference calls on President Barack Obama and [the Canadian] Prime Minister...to immediately examine a reduced fee for passports to facilitate cross-border tourism; and be it further

RESOLVED, that [the Conference] encourage the governments to examine the idea of a limited two-for-one passport renewal or new application;

To be a fair process, passport fees must be reduced on both sides of the border. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the government to work with the American government to examine a mutual reduction in passport fees to facilitate tourism and finally promote a limited time two-for-one passport renewal for renewed application fees on a mutual basis with the United States.

Right to Life
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of those Canadians, some additional 150 of them in this petition, who are requesting Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death.

The petition points out that 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. The petitioners ask that Parliament pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death.

Government Compensation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions. The first is a petition from a large number of my constituents in Trinity—Spadina.

The G20 summit was held this past summer in the downtown core of Toronto, which encompasses a great deal of large and small businesses and quite a few residential condominiums, during the peak of the tourism period. During that time, significant damage occurred to businesses and many retail stores and on the lives of restaurant owners.

The petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to ensure there is fair compensation for these small business owners, whether they lost business or had property damaged because of the G20 summit.

Motor Vehicle Safety
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from a large number of cyclists who have noticed that every time a large truck makes a right turn it has the potential of pulling in pedestrians and cyclists if it does not have underrun guards. It has occurred many times where people have been pulled under the wheels of these vehicles. As a result, the coroner's report into the death of a Toronto cyclist found that large vehicles are involved in 37% of these accidents resulting in the death of cyclists.

Therefore, the petitioners are recommending that Transport Canada amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to require side underrun guards for large trucks and trailers to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being pulled under the wheels of these vehicles.