House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Right to Life
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the second petition asks for this House to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death.

It is my privilege to present these petitions on behalf of the residents of Saskatchewan.

Afghanistan
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first is signed by dozens of Canadians to end Canada's involvement in Afghanistan. In May 2008, Parliament passed a resolution to withdraw Canadian Forces by July 2011. The Prime Minister, with the agreement of the Liberal Party, broke his oft-repeated promise to honour the parliamentary motion.

Committing 1,000 soldiers to a training mission still presents great danger to our troops and unnecessary expense when our country is faced with a $56 billion deficit. The military mission has cost Canadians more than $18 billion so far, money that could have been used to improve health care and seniors' pensions right here in Canada.

Polls show that a clear majority of Canadians do not want Canada's presence to continue after the scheduled removal date of July 2011. Therefore, the petitioners call on the Prime Minister to honour the will of Parliament and bring the troops home now.

Passport Fees
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls on the Canadian government to negotiate with the United States government to reduce Canadian passport fees.

The member for St. John's East explained how tourism has dropped over the last several years and how passports can be expensive. For example, it can cost $500 for an American family of four.

At a mid-west legislators conference held this summer, I was able to get a resolution passed unanimously in the Council of State Governments, consisting of 11 border states and three provinces. The resolution called on the Prime Minister and the President to examine a reduced fee for passports to facilitate cross-border tourism and it encouraged the governments to examine the idea of a limited-time, two-for-one passport renewal or a new application fee. It was further resolved that the resolution be submitted to the appropriate federal, state and provincial governments.

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

Public Transit Safety
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition on behalf of the members of ATU Local 107 in my hometown of Hamilton and many of their supporters who are users of public transit.

As members will be aware, there has been a big increase in violent assaults against public transit, school bus, para transit and intercity bus workers across Canada. Almost 40% of Canadians bus operators have indicated that they have been physically assaulted in their careers. In 2008 alone, 2,064 assaults were reported by bus operators, an increase of 438 assaults over reported cases from 2007.

Not only are these operators at risk when assaulted, but so too are the passengers who place their faith in the operator to transport them safety to their destinations. An assault on an operator with a vehicle in motion risks the lives of these operators, the passengers and the public in the vicinity of the vehicle. These Canadians provide a valuable service to the Canadian population, and as such, deserve stronger protection under federal law.

The petitioners request that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada amend the Criminal Code to recognize the growing incidence of violence against public transit, school bus, para transit and intercity transit operators, affecting their safety and that of the travelling public in Canada, in the same fashion that peace officers are recognized in the code.

Vale Inco
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to bring forward the voices of the people of Thompson, Manitoba. Today I would like to present petitions on their behalf, calling for the federal government to stand up for Canadians and Canadian jobs.

On November 17, Vale announced devastating news that they are planning to shut down the smelter and the refinery in Thompson. This announcement means the loss of over 600 jobs and will have a devastating impact on the community, the northern region and the province of Manitoba.

The people of Thompson are saying that the federal government must stand up for them. Not only did the government allow the foreign takeover by Vale, it also gave them a loan of $1 billion just over a month ago, this just weeks before such devastating news.

Many people in Thompson and Manitoba wonder when the government will stand up for Canadians rather than stand up for foreign companies, and they are asking that the federal government work with all stakeholders to save the 600 jobs and the Thompson Vale smelter and refinery.

Sisters in Spirit
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first petition has to do with the Sisters in Spirit campaign. In this petition, the many petitioners who have signed ask Parliament to ensure that the Native Women's Association of Canada receives sufficient funding to continue its important work protecting women through its Sisters in Spirit initiative, and to invest in initiatives recommended by the Native Women's Association of Canada to help prevent more women from disappearing.

Animal Welfare
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in support of Bill C-544. This petition asks the House of Commons to bring forward and adopt into legislation Bill C-544, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption), 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

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today from people who are concerned about the deteriorating state of tourism in Canada. As was mentioned by my colleagues from St. John's and Winnipeg, many Canadians are concerned that the cost of a passport inhibits travel between Canada and the U.S.

To facilitate tourism, the petitioners call on the Government of Canada to negotiate with the Government of the United States a reduction in passport fees on both sides of the border. They are also asking that the government promote with the United States government a limited-time, two-for-one passport renewal or new application fee on a mutual basis.

The petitioners urge the government to act on this as quickly as possible.

National Housing Strategy
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today, as I have on a number of occasions, to present petitions concerning my Bill C-304, which seeks to ensure a national housing strategy.

The petitions are signed by people from Toronto, as well as from Barrie, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Midland, and Utopia. They clearly demonstrate that people across the country are concerned about the housing crisis, the lack of affordable housing, and the lack of a national housing strategy in large centres such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax, but also in smaller communities. We are receiving a lot of petitions from smaller communities.

I am delighted to present these petitions calling on Parliament to ensure swift passage of Bill C-304, an act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.

The petitioners also want the government to note that we need to consult with first nations when it comes to housing. We need housing for the homeless and access to housing for individuals with different needs, including seniors and persons with disabilities. In short, the petitioners are saying we need a national housing strategy.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:25 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, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 514 and 517.

Question No. 514
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

With regard to Canadian child labour laws: (a) what is the government’s policy regarding ratification of International Labour Organization Convention No. 138 (C138) concerning the minimum age of admission to employment; and (b) has the government studied the impacts of ratification of C138 and the associated costs?

Question No. 514
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as jurisdiction for labour matters in Canada is constitutionally divided between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, the Government of Canada seeks the support of the provincial and territorial governments before ratifying International Labour Organization, ILO, conventions that deal with issues falling under their jurisdiction. This is the case with ILO Convention 138 concerning minimum age for admission to employment. Prior to ratification, provinces and territories are asked to confirm their acceptance of the obligations of the convention and agreement to implement these obligations within their jurisdictions.

The principles of Convention 138 are generally respected in all Canadian jurisdictions. As Convention 138 is an internationally recognized core labour standard, when the Minister of Labour met in February 2010 with provincial and territorial ministers responsible for labour, she raised with them the importance of Canada's consideration of ratification of this convention. A federal-provincial-territorial review of Canada’s conformity with the convention’s technical requirements will be launched in 2011.

Question No. 517
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

With regard to the regulation of oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories and the clean-up of the Pointed Mountain gas production facility near Fort Laird, in detail: (a) what is the current status of the clean-up of the Pointed Mountain gas facility; (b) if the clean-up is on hold, what steps are being taken to prevent contamination of the environment near the site; (c) why have several clean-up deadline extensions been issued for this gas field; (d) what consultations have been conducted with and what information has been provided to local First Nations concerning the clean-up of the Pointed Mountain gas field; and (e) on what date does the government expect the clean-up of this gas field to begin?

Question No. 517
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), active reclamation has been placed on hold until additional studies carried out under the active land use permit are complete. The cleanup of the Pointed Mountain gas facility is authorized under land use permit MV2007X0007. The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, hereinafter referred to as the board, issued this permit in June 2007. This permit replaces land use permit MV2002X0017 which required the submission of an abandonment and reclamation plan. This plan was submitted to the board and approved for implementation. Correspondence from the board still refers to this plan as being valid.

The land lease documents defer the decommissioning and reclamation of the Pointed Mountain gas plant to the abandonment and reclamation plan submitted to and approved by the board.

In response to (b), annual groundwater monitoring of the BP Canada Pointed Mountain gas field, near Fort Liard, Northwest Territories was undertaken in August 2006 and September 2007.

A supplemental phase II environmental site assessment, ESA, of the BP Canada Pointed Mountain gas field was conducted in September 2007. The purpose of this supplemental ESA was to further assess soil, groundwater and surface water quality at the plant site, A-1 through A-4 well sites, B-1 and B-2 well sites, and the airstrip.

The 2008 progress report states that annual surface and ground water sampling has shown no significant changes in hydrocarbon, metals, or salinity. BP plans to sample surface and ground water every two years.

The 2008 supplemental environmental site assessment conclusions state that “risk to potential human and ecological receptors remains low” and “unlikely to reach the nearest water body located 2.5 kilometers southeast of the pond for many years. There is no increase in the potential impact to surface water sources” .

The 2009 progress report states that 21 groundwater monitoring wells and 8 surface water locations were sampled. There were slight variations in hydrocarbon, metals and salinity but no significant changes.

In response to (c), there have been no extensions requested or given. Land use permit MV2002X0017 was issued in 2002 for five years and expired in 2007. BP Amoco never asked for an extension of permit MV2002X0017 but rather applied for MV2007X0007 which has been scoped for decommissioning and reclamation of Pointed Mountain gas plant and associated sites. This is an extensive cleanup project in a sensitive area that cannot and should not be expected to be completed in a matter of a few years.

In response to (d), all information related to the filings of the land use permit and the reclamation plan are available on the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board website. The impacted first nation, the Acho Dene Koe of Fort Liard, provided a letter of support submitted along with the land use permit application, dated January 10, 2007.

In response to (e), it is up to the proponent to properly assess the environmental impacts that have resulted from the authorized operations and facilities. Only when the impacts are understood can an informed abandonment and reclamation plan be executed.

The operation and all activities associated with decommissioning and reclamation of the Pointed Mountain gas plant are under an active authorization and will remain so until June 2012. Should additional time be required for execution of the reclamation activities, it will be incumbent upon the company to ensure that an authorization is in place from the applicable land and water board to carry out the activities. ¬

Reclamation of brownfield sites can take years as evidenced by work being conducted by the Contaminants and Remediation Directorate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, on abandoned mine sites within the Northwest Territories region.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

December 10th, 2010 / 12:25 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, if Questions Nos. 515 and 516 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.