House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I see the hon. member for Edmonton—St. Albert is rising. I do caution members that we do not extend question period with extra debate through points of order.

The hon. member for Edmonton—St. Albert

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I stand by my S.O. 31. The record from yesterday's committee will reflect that I quoted the said society accurately and correctly and I stand by those statements.

Foreign Affairs
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in Industrial Research and Development Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the State of Israel. It was signed in Jerusalem on July 10, 2011.

Fisheries and Oceans
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. This was completed in Rome on November 22, 2009.

Search and Rescue
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic. This was completed in Nuuk on May 12, 2011.

An explanatory memorandum is included with each treaty.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Services Agreement for the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, pursuant to subsection 20(5) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 104 and Standing Order 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding membership of committees of the House.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence on the fourth report later today.

Health of Animals Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-322, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption).

Mr. Speaker, whereas horses are ordinarily kept as pets for sporting and recreational purposes, and whereas they are not raised primarily for human consumption, and whereas horse meat products for human consumption are likely to contain prohibited substances, this bill would stop the import of horses for slaughter for human consumption.

Since I first introduced the bill in the last Parliament, tens of thousands of Canadians have petitioned the government to legislate an end to this practice. It is time for the government to listen.

It is irresponsible of Canada to allow the sale of meat from horses that have not been raised according to the food safety practices required for all other animals. For example, there is the issue of phenylbutazone. Bute is a known carcinogen that is banned from use in any animal entering the food chain.

It is a health concern. There are substances that are not allowed by our rules to enter the food chain. By stopping the importation of horses from the United States, we would cut this down considerably.

I urge all members of the House to support my bill.

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

Federal Courts Act
Routine Proceedings

October 5th, 2011 / 3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights).

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to re-table my bill on corporate responsibility. This was formerly Bill C-354 in the 40th Parliament. The bill is called the international promotion and protection of human rights act.

This is an innovative bill which mirrors the U.S. alien torts claims act. It has given rise to a very healthy and ongoing debate in civil society. It has been developed in close co-operation with Nick Milanovic, who is the adjunct professor at the Department of Law at Carleton University, and Mark Rowlinson, counsel for the United Steelworkers. The bill has been endorsed by the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers and many other civil society groups, experts and concerned Canadians.

The bill calls for extending the authority of the Federal Court system to protect foreign citizens against a broad range of human rights violations committed by Canadian and non-Canadian corporations and persons operating outside Canada. It would allow lawsuits in Canada for a host of universal human rights violations, such as genocide and torture, as well as activities that significantly destroy the environment or violate key international labour rights.

Canada's judicial system protects Canadians from abusive conduct by corporations or individuals and should no longer permit some Canadian corporations to violate human rights abroad. These continue to be committed abroad with impunity by some bad apples, some Canadian mining companies and other companies. This has an impact and, as a result, we need to ensure that we have a court system that responds to the needs of these foreign nationals.

The bill is an important step in expanding the jurisprudence to protect citizens living abroad from human rights abuses that take place. I hope the bill will get broad support from all members of Parliament.

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

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-324, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (sickness benefits).

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be an injustice that just does not want to correct itself and the government does not seem to want to move on this.

The bill deals with sickness benefits pertaining to EI benefits. Under normal circumstances, if people lose their job, through no fault of their own, they would get benefits that extend up to about 50 weeks in areas of high unemployment. With respect to sickness benefits, people need not just 420 hours to qualify, which are normally required, but they need 600 hours, which creates that discrepancy. On the other side, benefits only stretch up to about 15 weeks. My bill would extend that beyond the 15 week period.

Let us face it, if people are sick to the point where they need EI on a longer term basis, 15 weeks is severely insufficient.

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

Radiocommunication Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-325, An Act to amend the Radiocommunication Act (voluntary organizations that provide emergency services).

Mr. Speaker, I have always been quite inspired by the volunteer organizations, especially pertaining to emergency services: ambulance, search and rescue, and especially our volunteer firefighters across the region.

There are so many ways that we can help them save lives within their own communities. In my particular riding, I have 195 smaller communities. There are well over 50 brigades in the area. One of the things they want to do is to save money on certain aspects. One of the bigger fees they must pay is the radio communication licensing fee.

I again thank my colleague from Avalon who probably has as many, if not more, volunteer fire brigades in his riding, including volunteer search and rescue and ambulance services. What this particular bill would do is, “ Notwithstanding paragraph 6(1), no fee may be charged for the issuance of a radio licence to a voluntary organization that provides emergency services”.

Again, I want to thank the organizations that spend their free time helping to save lives. This is a small measure but it is a great gesture to them for what they do for our smaller communities.

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

Canada Pension Plan
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-326, An Act to amend the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act (biweekly payment of benefits).

Mr. Speaker, as is quite evident, I could not sleep much last night so I spent a lot of time doing my bills.

This is a very popular bill. I introduced it in the last session and I received a lot of positive feedback. The bill would allow people who receive the CPP or OAS monthly benefit to have an option, and I would stress it is an option to be paid biweekly, twice a month, if they choose to do so.

It is inspired largely by a provincial group of 50-plus clubs and pensioners in Newfoundland and Labrador. Year over year, they were passing this resolution within their organization where they wanted the option to be paid twice a month instead of just once.

It would be a good budgeting measure, especially for the younger seniors. This way, because it is an option, older seniors who live in homes can maintain their payment of once a month, which is also better budgeting for that particular institution that looks after them.

I am begging the government to seriously consider this as a good positive measure for seniors and their ability to budget.

I thank my colleague from Avalon, who is a great member. There is not much else I can say about him other than the fact that he simply inspired me. The fact that I stayed up all night to do this is also his fault.

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

National Literacy Policy Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-327, An Act to establish a national literacy policy.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to have my bill seconded by the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, a wonderful colleague.

Today is a very auspicious day to table this bill because it is International Teachers' Day.

This bill, which would establish a national literacy policy in consultation with the provinces, businesses, unions, experts, media and the public, is intended to address the serious issue of literacy in Canada. The bill would impose a leadership role on the federal government to enable action in a coordinated way among all the parties that are already working in their individual jurisdictions. It would require the government to report to Parliament once a year on action that has been taken.

I wish today to recognize the efforts of volunteers across our country who are working to improve literacy in the country, including a number of Edmonton organizations: the Edmonton literacy coalition, the Centre for Family Literacy, PALS and the John Howard Society.

Four in 10 Canadian adults fall below the literacy requirement. By 2031, more than 15 million Canadian adults will have low literacy levels. Unless some action is taken to reverse this trend, it has been stated by OECD and a number of think tanks that we will face profound challenges for Canada's social well-being and economic prosperity.

Right now, 60% of immigrants have low literacy and among aboriginal people, including the Yukon, 69% of the aboriginal population in the Northwest Territories have low literacy, and 88% of Inuit. Of course, this is also affiliated with the fact that they are struggling to learn their own languages.

I look forward to the support of the House for improving literacy in Canada.

(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 fourth 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.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I do not mean to withhold consent, but I do not have a copy of that report in front of me. Could the member confirm that this has to do with certain committee membership changes on behalf of the New Democratic Party? Is that the item that we are talking about?