House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Canada Elections Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-355, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting hours).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill that I believe would improve democracy by expanding access to voting in Canada. This bill would extend the hours of voting in federal elections from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in every province and territory.

This is an important measure to standardize voting hours across the country. For example, currently voters in British Columbia vote between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., whereas voters in Ontario have until 9:30 p.m. to cast their ballots.

More important, this bill would improve the ability of every Canadian to exercise his or her democratic choice by extending the time period in which to cast a ballot.

Voter turnout in federal elections has been declining steadily since the mid-1980s. In the most recent federal election, voter participation was only 61%. There are many reasons for declining turnout but one of them is certainly the barriers people face to vote. Canadians lead lives that are busier than ever. There are single parents and families with two working parents. There are seniors who must rely on others to get them to the polls.

Our democracy is valuable. It is worth protecting. Expanding voting hours is a small but important step and I hope all members of the House will support it, with special thanks to my colleague, the member for Hochelaga for seconding this.

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

Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

He said: Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I believe you would find consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practices of the House, Bill S-3, A third Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.

Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee of the whole, reported, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

Bill C-10
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by over 100 constituents of Victoria who are expressing concern over Bill C-10 for two reasons.

They state that the costs have not been properly assessed and that the costs would fall to the provinces and would impact effective prevention programs. They are also concerned about the breadth and scope of the bill and they ask that the bill be divided so that it can be studied more attentively and more closely.

Falun Gong
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour today to present a petition that urges the Canadian government to continuously use every possible channel to call for an end to the persecution of the Falun Gong in China. This petition comes from Canadians right across this country.

Falun Gong is a peaceful and beneficial spiritual practice centred on the principles of truth, compassion, forbearance and a set of five meditation exercises. Falun Gong has been the most severely persecuted group in China since July 1999 when the Chinese Communist Party launched an eradication campaign against Falun Gong practitioners. The policy to destroy their reputation, bankrupt them financially and eliminate them completely has led to the arbitrary detention and torture of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners for their beliefs.

The UN Special Rapporteur on torture reported that 66% of the victims of alleged torture and ill-treatment in China were Falun Gong practitioners. The cruelty and brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description. More than 3,448 practitioners have been verified as having been tortured to death.

Free and democratic nations have a responsibility to condemn crimes against humanity wherever they occur. Therefore, the petitioners urgently call on our government to continuously use every possible channel to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong, especially at meetings with top Chinese leaders and at international fora and help rescue—

Falun Gong
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would stop the member there and remind all members that in order to accommodate all the people who are rising, the member is supposed to give a brief summary of the petition.

The hon. member for Random—Burin—St. George's.

Search and Rescue
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition against the closure of the Marine Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

This petition has been signed by close to 100 members of the Canadian Marine Advisory Council, which is Canada's leading consultative body for all issues affecting maritime safety in Canada. These are members who come from every province in our country and some from our territories. They say that the decision to close the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's is irresponsible, in fact a reckless decision, because it puts in jeopardy the lives of those who earn their living at sea and even those are vacationing on tour ships. They say we need to ensure that the centre continues to operate. We need to be able to take advantage of the local knowledge, the history and the skill set of the employees who work at the centre. The petitioners call on the government to rescind this reckless decision, change its mind and say we have to keep this open.

When a body like the Canadian Marine Advisory Council says that we should--

Search and Rescue
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. I see a lot of members rising to present petitions, so again I am going to ask all hon. members to provide a brief summary so that we can accommodate everyone trying to present petitions.

The hon. member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure today to stand and present a petition from approximately 30 constituents from across this country asking for the government to de-fund the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. They point out that the Government of Canada funds the CBC by a sum of $1.1 billion per annum and that the vast amount of funding the government gives the CBC gives the CBC an unfair advantage over its private sector competitors. They call on Parliament to end public funding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand today to introduce a petition signed by literally thousands of Canadians, who call upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known. In fact, they point that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial or occupational causes combined, yet we remain one of the largest producers and exporters in the world. Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities they live in; to end all government subsidies of asbestos, both in Canada and abroad; and finally, to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam Convention.