House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

October 3rd, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-316, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (incarceration).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Barrie for his support and seconding this bill, my Ottawa staff for help they provided in putting this together and my wife, Annie, for the support she gives me and, indeed, on this private member's bill.

I believe that most Canadians, maybe as high as 99%, maybe a vast majority of members of Parliament and maybe yourself, Mr. Speaker, do not know that going to prison could allow someone to double the amount of time they can apply for and receive in employment insurance benefits. Sections 8 and 10 of the Employment Insurance Act currently allow for prisoners to receive the same level of opportunity as hard-working Canadians who are in need of employment insurance. My bill would repeal those provisions in the Employment Insurance Act so prisoners would no longer be able to apply for an extension to their employment insurance benefits simply because they were in jail.

Why should criminals receive the same level of treatment as hard-working Canadians who are pregnant, or suffer illnesses or injuries? As an example, a mother in Quebec was denied employment insurance after her place of employment went out of business because she had just returned from maternity leave and had not worked enough hours in the previous year. If she had been in prison, however, instead of on maternity leave, she would have been able to receive the extended benefit. This is crazy.

Thus, quite simply, the bill would change the EI Act so that those who serving time for crime no longer would be able to receive preferential treatment over hard-working Canadians, who deserve and need this kind of help. This bill is all about fairness for hard-working Canadians.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-317, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations).

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce a bill to amend the Income Tax Act for labour organizations. I would like to thank the member for New Brunswick Southwest for seconding the bill.

Labour organizations play a valuable role in Canadian society, representing and defending the rights of workers to health and safety on the job and ensuring good compensation for the work that they do.

The bill would require a public disclosure of the finances of labour unions. This is in line with the increased transparency we have introduced for government departments, agencies and native reserves. Public disclosure is strongly supported by the Canadian public and even more so by union members themselves.

The basic premise of the bill is that every labour union in Canada would file a standard set of financials, which would then be publicly posted on the CRA website, much like charities already are required to do. The public would be empowered to gauge the effectiveness, financial integrity and the health of any union. Using electronic filing, the expense incurred by unions and by the federal government should be negligible.

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

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the third report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House earlier today be concurred in.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House for this motion?

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Aboriginal Affairs
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first petition is to do with the Stolen Sisters. The petitioners indicate that the Native Women's Association of Canada, through its Sisters in Spirit campaign, has identified 520 missing and murdered aboriginal women, whose cases go back to the 1970s.

The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to ensure that the Native Women's Association receives sufficient funding to continue its important work of protecting women through its Sister in Spirit initiative and to invest in initiatives recommended by NWAC to help prevent more women from disappearing.

Child Care
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition, the petitioners indicate that child care is not accessible or affordable for Canadian families and is often of uncertain quality for young children. They state that child care creates jobs, makes Canada more competitive, helps achieve women's equality, builds local economies and is a recognized human right.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to legislate the right to universal access to child care and to provide multi-year funding to provincial and territorial governments to build a national system of affordable, high quality, public and not-for-profit early childhood education and care accessible to all children. They say that the federal government must establish spending criteria and reporting mechanisms that ensure accountability to how the provinces and territories use federal funding to ensure quality, accessibility, universality and accountability and that acknowledge Quebec's right to develop social programs with adequate compensation from the federal government.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of citizens of Canada who are opposed to the proposed megaquarry in Melancthon township in Dufferin country in Ontario, which will be the largest open-pit quarry in Canada at over 2,300 acres.

The petitioners are specifically concerned that this megaquarry will threaten freshwater fish species, particularly in the Pine river, and will further harm freshwater fish species and the regeneration, affecting Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

The petitioners ask that the Government of Canada conduct an environmental assessment under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Act on the proposed Highland Companies' megaquarry development.

HIV-AIDS
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions on behalf of my constituents.

In the first petition, the petitioners ask the government to fix Canada's Access to Medicine Regime so that low-cost generic drugs can start flowing to developing countries. They say that 2.9 million people across the world died as a result of AIDS this year alone.

The petitioners call on the government to increase funding to fight HIV-AIDS globally and to support the creation of an international women's agency at the UN.

Employment Insurance
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition on behalf of my constituents, who urge Parliament to introduce employment insurance emergency measures to respond to the economic crisis.

The petitioners ask the government to expand the eligibility criteria and the benefits.

Health Care
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to present a number of petitions today from people in my riding of Hamilton Mountain, all of which address the urgent need for a national pharmacare program in our country.

The petitioners point out that our goal ought to be to have a national drug plan that would enable all Canadians to enjoy equitable access to medicines while, at the same time, controlling the rising cost of drugs.

They are keenly aware of a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which concluded that the existing patchwork of private and public plans in Canada is inequitable, inefficient and costly. The report found that Canada was the third most expensive country for brand-name drugs because it deliberately inflates drug prices in order to attract pharmaceutical investments.

Instead of tackling the issue head on, the government is talking about privatization and user fees. Those are hardly the answers for an aging population that is already finding it difficult to make ends meet and whose retirement savings are again put at risk by yet another economic downturn.

The request by petitioners is as straightforward as it is urgent. They simply want the government to acknowledge that there is a sound economic case to be made for universal public medicare and then to get on with the job of developing and implementing a national pharmacare program.

While I know that the rules of the House do not allow me to endorse a petition, I will conclude by commending the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada for their timely leadership on this important issue.

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to introduce a petition signed by literally thousands of Canadians from all across Canada who call upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known.

The petitioners point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial or occupational causes combined and yet Canada is still one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos, dumping nearly 200,000 tonnes of this product per year into underdeveloped and third world countries. They also point out that Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and introduce a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities in which they live. They call upon the government to end all subsidies of asbestos both in Canada and abroad and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam Convention.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 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, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?