House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gas.

Topics

Earthquake in Chile
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by Canadians calling on the Canadian government to match funds personally donated by Canadian citizens for the victims of the Chilean earthquake. On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in southern Chile. The Chilean-Canadian community has been mobilized. It has had many social events. As a matter of fact, there is one coming up on May 22, I believe.

The question is: When will the Prime Minister give the same treatment to the Chilean earthquake victims as he did to the victims of the Haitian earthquake and match funds personally donated by Canadians to help the victims of the Chilean earthquake?

Canada Post
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all know the importance of postal services in rural communities and in our northern communities. However, there is one area within York South—Weston, which is the area called Mount Dennis, where there is no postal station and there is a very high concentration of seniors and those with disabilities.

The petitioners from that little community are calling upon Canada Post to look at the situation in that particular area and are petitioning the House of Commons and Parliament to have a postal station in place as soon as possible, in consideration of citizens' needs in the Mount Dennis community.

This petition has more than 100 signatures from citizens in that particular area, Mount Dennis.

Animal Welfare
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a series of petitions to present.

The first is a petition to the Government of Canada to support the universal declaration on animal welfare.

The petitioners, residents of Canada, petition the Government of Canada to support the universal declaration on animal welfare.

Firearms Registry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, in the next petition, the petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament to support Bill C-391, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act (repeal of long-gun registry).

Employment Insurance
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the next petition is with respect to fixing the employment insurance program by having the hours set at 360, increasing the benefits duration to 50 weeks and increasing the benefits to at least 60%, using workers' best 12 weeks of earnings.

Assisted Suicide
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, finally, I have a petition respecting legalizing euthanasia in Canada.

The petitioners, residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to reject Bill C-384, which relates to the issue of legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Foreign Takeovers
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by hundreds of citizens from northern Ontario. The petitioners are very frustrated with the way the government completely blew the negotiations between Falconbridge and Inco, which would have emerged into a Canadian super giant.

The government rubber stamped corporate raider Xstrata and now we see the results. There has been the shutdown of mines in Sudbury. The copper refining capacity and zinc refining capacity is being shut down in Ontario. There has been no net benefit to Canadians from this corporate raider.

Frustrated communities in the mining belt call for changes to the Investment Canada Act so we can see the kinds of commitments these foreign takeovers will be subject to, if any, and that they will be open and transparent so we can learn from the debacle of Falconbridge and Inco, which is now being seen in the mining industry as the Tories' modern equivalent of the Avro Arrow.

We need to learn lessons from this debacle under the Conservative government, which is what the citizens of northern Ontario say, so it will not be repeated in other industries that are opened up to foreign takeovers.

Justice
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians learned that Graham James had been pardoned for his crimes, thousands and thousands of Canadians were outraged, including one of my constituents from Wild Rose by the name of Amy Stewart. She started a Facebook campaign and later a petition campaign, which has now spread all across my riding and the country. I have the first stack of responses, the overwhelming response to that petition call by Amy Stewart.

The petition partially states that children are Canada's most vulnerable citizens and deserve full protection from sexual offences, that sex offences are despicable crimes that must be condemned and punished, that pardons granted to convicted sex offenders serve to limit public awareness of their movements and whereabouts in Canadian communities and that concern for the safety of children and Canadian communities should be placed ahead of the interests of convicted sex offenders, therefore.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to change the Criminal Records Act to prohibit the granting of pardons to convicted sex offenders.

It gives me pleasure to table this petition today.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

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, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Multiple Sclerosis
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

May 10th, 2010 / 3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The Chair has received a request for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Etobicoke North and I will hear her on this point now.

Multiple Sclerosis
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to request an emergency debate on an urgent issue of national importance.

There are 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians who live with multiple sclerosis. Our country has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world. MS is a devastating, unpredictable disease, which affects balance, hearing, memory, mobility and vision. Its affects are physical, emotional, financial and last a lifetime. MS steals futures from families and there is no cure.

I believe my request meets several criteria for emergency debate. This is a genuine emergency, as a delay of a matter of months for some patients may mean the difference between working and not working, walking and not walking or living on their own or in care. The topic is immediately relevant as patients are now mortgaging their homes and spending their savings in order to travel overseas for the procedures that are not available in Canada.

The topic is a concern throughout the nation as Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. Every day three more people in Canada are diagnosed with the disease in communities across the country.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information, or CIHI, estimates that the annual total cost of MS to the Canadian economy is $1 billion. Direct care and treatment costs are estimated at $139 million annually, with drugs accounting for almost half. A scan and venoplasty in a public hospital setting is estimated to cost $1,500. However, the true cost of MS has nothing to do with money. The impact of quality of life is simply catastrophic.

The matter absolutely falls within the administrative responsibilities of the government as it is responsible for the health of aboriginal Canadians as well as the Canadian Forces and it is a partner with the provinces and territories to deliver health care to Canadians across the country.

I am thankful for the Speaker's consideration and eagerly await his response.

Multiple Sclerosis
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for her submissions on this point and the letter that she sent detailing the issue.

While I have no doubt that it is a serious situation, I am not sure the request meets the exigencies of the Standing Order in respect of an emergency debate at this time. Accordingly I will decline the request at this stage.

Statements by Members
Privilege
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, May 6 I gave notice to the chair of a matter arising out of the statement by the member for Peace River just prior to question period.

You issued a letter, Mr. Speaker, dated February 26, 2009, to House leaders concerning members' statements made pursuant to Standing Order 31. That is the reason why I have raised this privilege. You expressed your concern about what was happening. The letter to the House leaders states:

In recent days a number of Members' Statements made pursuant to Standing Order 31 have caused me some concern.

House of Commons Procedure and Practice at pages—

That has been amended now with the second edition of O'Brien and Bosc at page 422.

—sets out guidelines governing the content of such statements. In particular, it states that “personal attacks are not permitted”. I intend to halt at early stage any trend in this direction. As such, I am writing to advise you that I will vigorously enforce the authority given to me by Standing Order 31 to cut off Members if, in my opinion, improper statements are made.

This letter is signed by the Speaker. A carbon copy was sent to all whips and encouraged them to inform members of their parties of the Speaker's approach in this regard.

Obviously the matter has become untenable. It is out of hand. The statement I am rising on is probably the worst thing that has happened to me in my over 16 years as a member of Parliament. I want to read into the record the offensive S. O. 31 made by the member for Peace River. It can be found on page 2459 of May 6 House of Commons Debates. The member states:

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Liberal chair of the ethics committee showed yet again the ethical bankruptcy of the Liberal Party, when it was revealed that he had a private conversation with the interim Information Commissioner about an ongoing investigation.

Is this how the Liberal Party respects the independent officers of Parliament? All members of the House should believe in respecting due process, all members should believe in respecting the independence of officers of Parliament.

No member of the House should be engaged in a private conversation with a legal authority about an ongoing investigation in the middle of that investigation.

Yet, the member for Mississauga South threw due process and respect for the independent authority of that officer completely out the window by attempting to influence, interfere or direct that independent officer of Parliament.

This is highly inappropriate, grossly unethical, and shows yet again why the Liberal Party cannot be trusted.

I do not think I have to explain to you, Mr. Speaker, how these allegations are all directed at myself.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, I have no recourse to defend myself. If I do not, then it is important that I take the consequences. As I said, this is so serious that I had to rise on this matter.

I should make reference to Standing Order 18 as it regards using offensive words against either House or against any member thereof, with which the House is well familiar. I can also refer to page 618 of O'Brien and Bosc which states:

The proceedings of the House are based on a long-standing tradition of respect for the integrity of all Members. Thus, the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the House is strictly forbidden. Personal attacks, insults and obscenities are not in order.

That is footnote 176.

That is footnote 176. It also includes, “any allegation that a member has lied or misled the House”. This is a very important aspect of this. Certain allegations in the statement by the member for Peace River he knew were incorrect and yet he proceeded to make the statement even when he knew the facts were different. It goes on to say:

Personal attacks, insults and obscene language or words are not in order. A direct charge or accusation against a Member may be made only by way of a substantive motion for which notice is required.

That is Speaker Michener's ruling of June 19, 1959, which I wanted to raise with you, Mr. Speaker.

I should indicate that I had to wait for the blues to ensure I had the words and the statement absolutely correct. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the House to give proper notice and to rise at the late hour of the day on Thursday. I had to catch my plane home to attend to parliamentary business.

I want to raise this also in the context of freedoms of speech. I refer O'Brien and Bosc, pages 97 and 98 and I think that this helps with the essence because it does refer broadly. There is no question, and I will not read all of this. I want to be concise. It states on page 98:

It states on page 98, “Such a privilege confers grave responsibilities on those who are protected by it”. That refers to the immunity privileges that we have here, that nothing we say in here can be used against us outside of this chamber and the same goes for things that are said in committee, for instance. It goes on to say, “By that I mean specifically the Hon. Members of this place. The consequences”, and Mr. Speaker, this really is serious. If the members are not interested in allowing me to have freedom of speech—