House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prorogation.

Topics

Veterans Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs entitled, “A Timely Tune-up for the Living New Veterans Charter”.

I wish to thank all committee members for their work and dedication. I can say that this report is a collective work from all political parties to see a good and workable document produced for the well-being of our heroes, veterans, injured soldiers facing difficulties and also their families.

Foreign Affairs and International Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development concerning the situation at Rights & Democracy entitled “Rights & Democracy: Moving Towards a Stronger Future”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development in relation to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Health
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Health entitled, “Promoting Innovative Solutions to Health Human Resources Challenges”.

Canadian Heritage
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in relation to the emerging and digital media opportunities and challenges.

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to the retirement income security of Canadians.

I would like to thank all committee members for their work, as well as the clerk, the analysts and all the staff who helped us prepare this report.

National Housing Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-549, An Act to amend the National Housing Act (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's retained earnings).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that would harness CMHC's $2 billion annual surplus to the goal of sheltering Canadians, a goal from which CMHC has strayed over the years.

This bill would amend section 21 of the National Housing Act, requiring CMHC's unappropriated retained earnings to be transferred to provinces to provide housing for low income households. It would pose no financial risk to CMHC, which maintains twice the level of capital reserves recommended by OSFI, but it would guide it in fulfilling its mandate to help Canadians in need access affordable, sound and suitable housing.

Finally, it would help all of us attain the right to housing that the Government of Canada pledged to uphold when it ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights more than three decades ago.

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

Forgiveness of Student Loans for Health Professionals Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-550, An Act respecting the forgiveness of student loans for health professionals.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill that would help students and improve access to basic medical care for people across the country.

We know that regular checkups and preventative health care are far better and cheaper for Canadians than ignoring health problems until a trip to the hospital is required, but far too many families do not have access to a family doctor.

My bill would freeze student loan payments for the first five years after graduation for all doctors and nurse practitioners who agree to practise family medicine in an underserved area. After five years, their student debt would be decreased by 20% for each year they continue to serve as family doctors or nurse practitioners in underserved communities. The effect would be that after 10 years of practising family medicine, their student debt would be totally forgiven.

Last year I met with representatives of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and they told me about the crippling debt burden faced by many medical graduates.

This bill would help these hard-working students who are dedicating their lives to serving the public and it would help get more family doctors and nurse practitioners into communities that need them.

I ask all members of the House to support this practical idea to strengthen our public health care system for all Canadians.

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

Investment Canada Act
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-551, An Act to amend the Investment Canada Act (committee members).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to table my bill entitled, An Act to amend the Investment Canada Act . I am pleased that this bill is being seconded by my colleague from Churchill.

Liberal and Conservative governments have consistently rubber-stamped foreign takeovers of Canadian companies without any transparency or accountability to the Canadian people. When parliamentarians seek details of these takeovers, they are told by the industry minister that they are not allowed.

This bill would change all that. It seeks to expand section 36 of the Investment Canada Act to include members of the Standing Committee on Industry. Amending section 36 in such a way would provide meaningful oversight by parliamentarians and would allow a multi-party review of foreign takeovers. This would provide greater public confidence in the process.

For too long, federal industry ministers have hidden behind section 36 of the Investment Canada Act to deny stakeholders and the public access to the terms of agreements between foreign companies and the federal government.

With this act, the Ministry of Industry would now have to co-operate with parliamentarians in the industry committee and that is a much needed improvement in the current act.

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

Canada Elections Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-552, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (representation of women).

Mr. Speaker, for a number of years Canadians have been demanding democratic renewal of Canada's Parliament.

With a changing cultural landscape, Canada's Parliament should be representative of the diversity that is celebrated in this country. Sadly, the reality is that today, less than 25% of the total elected members of the House of Commons are women. That is why this morning I am tabling a bill that would alter the formula of special allowances per vote received by political parties.

My bill would amend the Elections Act to provide a special quarterly allowance for registered parties in which a certain percentage of the members elected are women.

In addition to the existing quarterly allowances paid to political parties, which is $1.95 per year for each valid vote cast, the bill provides for a special quarterly allowance for parties in which women represent 20% of the elected members. The 20% threshold was selected because it corresponds to an overall average in the House of Commons, where for several decades now, women have held at least 20% of the total number of seats.

The proportion of women in the House has never been higher than 30%. Although it has been as high as 25% or 30%, it has since fallen and now varies between 20% and 25%.

This would be a special quarterly allowance of 20¢ to 40¢ per year, depending on the percentage of women elected for each political party.

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

Canada Elections Act
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-553, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (special quarterly allowance).

Mr. Speaker, my bill would amend the Canada Elections Act to provide a special quarterly allowance for registered parties in which a certain percentage of the members elected are aboriginal people, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

In addition to the quarterly allowance given to political parties, which is currently set at $1.95 a year per valid vote, my bill would provide a special quarterly allowance to parties in which 10% of their elected representatives are part of a designated group. A threshold of 10% was chosen because visible minorities were approximately 16.2% of the population in 2006, which was an increase over the 2001 level of 13.4%. In 2017, it is estimated that between 19% and 23% of Canadians will be from visible minorities, while aboriginals account for 1.2 million Canadians and persons with disabilities, 4.4 million. For each quarter, the allowance would be calculated as follows: 10¢ per year if the proportion of people from these groups is between 10% and 19% of the party's total elected members, 20¢ per year if that proportion is between 20% and 29%, and 30¢ per year if the proportion of people from these groups is more than 30%.

I hope that my colleagues will support both these bills.

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

Protecting Canadians Abroad Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-554, An Act to Protect Canadian Citizens Abroad.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce an act to protect Canadian citizens abroad in support of the foundational principle that all Canadian citizens, without discrimination, deserve the protection of the Government of Canada while detained, stranded, captured or disappeared abroad.

There are a number of high profile cases, including those of Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and Abousfian Abdelrazik, and the related jurisprudence that have underscored the need for legislation setting forth both the rights of Canadian citizens, as well as the threshold obligations of the Government of Canada and its consular services.

Accordingly, this legislation, the first ever of its kind, would affirm these rights and obligations, including rights to consular access, consular visits and repatriation; reporting requirements for Canadian officials when they suspect a Canadian detained or captured abroad has been or may be tortured; and requiring that the government request the repatriation of a Canadian detained abroad in situations where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Canadian has been or may be tortured, is being subjected to conditions constituting cruel or unusual punishment, or is being arbitrarily detained.

I trust that this bill will enjoy the support of all members of the House.

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

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Routine Proceedings

June 17th, 2010 / 10:20 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-556, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (exception to inadmissibility).

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to introduce a bill that speaks on behalf of those vulnerable people who are denied immigration status because of their health condition.

This bill looks to stop discrimination against people living with disabilities by improving our Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and making it fair and equitable.

I want to thank my former colleague, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, for all her work on this issue in the past, and her work in favour of those living with disabilities and protecting their rights.

The act currently suggests discriminating against people living with disabilities by prohibiting them from immigrating to Canada since they might represent an excessive burden on our society. That was the case of David and Sophie Barlagne, a French family that was told by the Federal Court that their daughter, Rachel, who has cerebral palsy, constituted an excessive demand on the social service resources of the province of Quebec, even though the family can support her. Through these actions, the government is telling the family that their child is a burden.

That is the reason this bill guarantees an opportunity of an appeal process for people with a disability who have applied for immigration but have been turned down. This bill would allow them to prove they have abilities that need to be recognized and that in fact they will not pose an excessive demand on our society, but on the contrary they can contribute greatly to our country.

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

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-557, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeals).

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to introduce a bill that amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It amends section 38 that excludes people with disabilities from immigrating to Canada, even though they have been accepted by the provincial government and have the financial means to support themselves.

Canada signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities while still systematically undermining it by falling back on old stereotypes.

Tonight in Toronto, the Canadian Paraplegic Association will be celebrating its 65th year of existence and of its excellent work.

No one should be deported or barred from Canada after becoming physically disabled in Canada. I urge all members to support equal rights for all persons in Canada.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-558, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (social condition).

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to rise in the House today to present this bill. I would like to thank the member for Vancouver Kingsway for seconding this bill.

This bill is very important because it amends provisions of the Criminal Code to establish principles related to sentencing and describe the aggravating circumstances that require increased sentences to be imposed.

The bill requires an increased sentence where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on social condition of the victim.

This bill is the companion to another bill that I will be introducing on social condition. It is done in recognition that there are people in our society who are disadvantaged because of social condition, because of poverty, homelessness, education and background and that they do face prejudice and discrimination. It is very important that we have the tools to address the reality they face in their daily lives.

I hope that all members will support this bill. This issue has been before the House many times. In fact, there have been many studies on the issue of social condition and how people do not have protection. This bill is aimed at addressing that to ensure there is dignity and respect for people based on social condition.

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