House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

[Members sang the national anthem]

YOUCAN Youth Service
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the pleasure of announcing funding for and visiting an organization in Edmonton called YOUCAN Youth Service.

YOUCAN Youth Service helps young people with barriers to employment and education overcome those barriers and achieve their full potential. I met dedicated staff and volunteers who spend countless hours unselfishly working to give young people facing challenges an opportunity to discover who they can be. I met young people at various stages of turning their lives around. They realized that they do matter and that they do have people who care about their futures.

I participated in a discussion circle, where everyone has a chance to speak openly and honestly. A rock is passed around the circle and the holder of the rock has the floor while everyone listens attentively. What a quaint notion. As the keeper of the parliamentary rock, Mr. Speaker, perhaps it is an idea that you might consider for adoption in this place.

I want to thank and pay tribute to organizations like YOUCAN Youth Service and people like Kyle who make a tremendous difference in the lives of young Canadians. I also want to recognize young Canadians, like Candy, who seize the opportunity and turn their lives around.

I would encourage all of us to be the rock for a young person who needs our help.

Employment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, London is my community. Despite suggestions from a member opposite to the contrary, I am proud of my city and I am especially proud of the people of London for their show of resiliency, determination and optimism when faced with some very difficult challenges. However, pride in one's city does not mean that we can ignore reality.

My city has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Jobs have been lost. In southwestern Ontario, 10,000 jobs have been lost in the last five years, most in the manufacturing sector. Families are hurting and we cannot sugar-coat the issues faced by so many in my riding. London has an unemployment rate of 9.1%. There is a proposal to open a satellite welfare office in the east end. We need a federal government focused on job creation, not tax cuts; jobs in energy conservation, transit, alternative energy and green manufacturing. The people of London matter and deserve no less.

Lifetime Business Achievement Award
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize well-known Pembroke businessman and community supporter, Gerry Binhammer. Mr. Binhammer has been named 2011 Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Business Achievement Award winner. While Gerry is well known in the Pembroke business community as the successful owner-operator of the Malcolm, Deavitt and Binhammer Funeral Home, it is his community work for which Gerry is an honoured member in my area and how I am most aware of his stellar performance.

Active in his community as a member of Kiwanis International, the Masonic Lodge and Ottawa Valley Tunis Shrine Club, Gerry is a firm believer in helping youth. In addition to his work with service clubs, he has made major financial gifts to Algonquin College, Pembroke Regional Hospital and Miramichi Lodge. Through his generosity, nine students each year from local high schools are eligible for $1,000 bursaries for academic achievement to assist with their post-secondary education. It is people like Gerry Binhammer who give the Upper Ottawa Valley its reputation as a kind, caring, wonderful place to live.

I congratulate Gerry on his outstanding achievement.

Prostate Cancer
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the last day of movember and as our moustaches have grown, so has the popularity of this great campaign. Here in the House the three teams, the “New DeMOcrats”, the “Strong, Stable Conservative MOjority” and we “Li-Bros”, have together raised over $50,000. All together, 245,000 Canadians grew moustaches and made Canada by far the number one country in the world, with over $32 million raised. Movember is a good way to bring attention to men's health issues, but more needs to be done.

As Dr. Larry Goldenberg said, “A man is more than just a penis and a prostate”. Dr. Goldenberg said that men's health needs to be about more, too. Men have shorter life expectancies, almost five years less. Heart disease, suicide, liver disease and diabetes are all more prevalent among men. Dr. Goldenberg has taken the first steps in proposing a Canadian institute of male health. We need a national body separate from government that would be entirely focused on men's health that could co-ordinate research activities, education campaigns and other initiatives.

Just as Canada leads in movember, so too can we all lead here in Canada with the Canadian institute of male health.

Israel
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was outraged yesterday when I heard that Katyusha rockets were once again fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. The Lebanese government must uphold its responsibilities to prevent threats to innocent lives and the resulting terror that this rocket fire indiscriminately puts upon all residents.

Despite the presence of UNIFIL, this is the eighth rocket attack on Israel since the 2006 ceasefire agreement. I call on the Lebanese government to maintain control and order in its country and to ensure the safety of its neighbours and internationally protected persons on both sides of the border.

“Bécik jaune” Bicycle Project
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about a wonderful initiative undertaken by the youth centre in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, in my riding of Joliette.

Three years ago, leaders at this organization launched the “Bécik jaune” project. This project makes a fleet of community bicycles available free of charge to people in the greater Joliette area.

This innovative project is very worthwhile. It gives people access to a safe means of transportation, combats social isolation and increases physical activity. Furthermore, this project gives potential school dropouts a chance to build self-esteem by maintaining the bikes. It also helps protect the environment by providing an alternative to driving and by reducing greenhouse gases as well as the amount of waste produced.

This project tackles some current societal challenges and deserves all the support we can give it.

Essar Steel Algoma
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to express my gratitude for the generosity of Essar Steel Algoma.

Yesterday, Essar created a community investment fund of $5 million to help support community development in Sault Ste. Marie. This is a great example of how our government's low-tax policy is helping corporations to invest in their local communities. I am proud to be part of a government that encourages job creation and economic growth, instead of penalizing productivity through high corporate taxes.

Hard work in the private sector is the backbone of this country. The CEO of Essar put it best when he said:

Our community's ability to attract and retain qualified professionals and highly skilled personnel is dependent upon the city's economic vitality and social fabric.

Essar put its money where its mouth is and invested in the community of Sault Ste. Marie. We thank Essar Steel Algoma for leading the way in job creation, corporate responsibility and unbridled generosity. Sault Ste. Marie is grateful for its presence and activity in our community.

Prostate Cancer
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is movember, and men across the country gave their upper lips for the worthy cause of growing a moustache in support of prostate cancer awareness and men's health. Many stylish and full mos were grown, and some not so much, but it was all done in good fun and for a worthy cause.

Last year over 100,000 men from Canada alone participated in movember and raised over $22 million. This year we have already surpassed $32 million. Worldwide, since its inception, movember has raised over $200 million to fund awareness and research and to assist those living with prostate cancer.

I am proud to say that this year I was able to participate in the noble efforts of the movember campaign. I, along with colleagues on both sides of the House, and Canadian men nationwide, made a valiant effort to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

Over 25,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. One in seven will develop the disease in their lifetime. I want to remind men to get their prostates checked, and I ask all women to encourage the men in their lives to visit their doctors.

Santa Fund Telethon
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to shout a loud Christmas cheer for the Sturgeon Falls volunteer firefighters and their successful Santa Fund Telethon last weekend.

Over $37,000 was raised during the West Nipissing telethon. This is an amazing figure, a community of 14,000 raising $37,000 in seven hours.

I would like to congratulate chief Richard Savage and his team of firefighters, as well as the group of over 200 exceptional volunteers, for their participation in the telethon.

Hats off, as well, to all the individuals, businesses and charities that donated and made the telethon and toy drive such a success. It is the best result in over 15 years. This means that over 400 families in need will enjoy Christmas.

Merry Christmas to the families, the children, the firefighters and to you, the excellent community of West Nipissing. You make us proud.

Emergency Preparedness
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, 14 fire departments rallied together to contain 2 raging wild fires near Lethbridge that were fuelled by hurricane-force winds.

The firefighters were assisted by the police, disaster services, several Hutterite colonies and other community volunteers.

Providence must also be acknowledged. The fires raged for over 12 hours, spread as wide as 9 kilometres, over 40 kilometres long. One fire came to the edge of the city, but not a single home or building was burned.

As I toured the south fire with local authorities, we saw that it was nothing short of miraculous the number of times the fire suddenly shifted direction before it would have consumed a home or a building, a group of animals or a community.

Finally, many local emergency preparedness plans were executed, and others were ready to be put into action. In addition to praising first responders, I call on individuals, families, communities and their leaders across the country to put an emergency preparedness plan in place.

Catherine Lamontagne
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to congratulate a Quebecker in my riding who is one of the 2011 recipients of the Activité nationale de reconnaissance de la participation citoyenne award, a citizenship award given out by the Government of Quebec. Catherine Lamontagne from the Forum Jeunesse Montérégie Est was given the award for her dynamic devotion to the community of Bromont. She is the chair of the Bromont family advisory committee and she helped to set up its Carrefour familial or family centre, which provides drop-in daycare services and networking activities for young families in the area. Through Ms. Lamontagne's leadership, Bromont's Carrefour familial received the 2011 municipal and family action award in recognition of the various services it provides.

Congratulations to this young Quebecker who is helping families in her community.

Violence against Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is actively participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.

Violence against women affects us all. It destroys families and weakens the fabric of our society. It takes a heavy toll on our communities and on our economy.

Since 2007, Status of Women Canada has approved more than $39 million in funding for projects designed specifically to help end violence against women and girls. These projects involve countless hours of dedicated work on the ground in communities. In many cases they are helping prevent violence and abuse and in others they are helping women deal or cope with its consequences.

Status of Women Canada's support for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2007, to almost $19 million a year, its highest level ever.

Persons with Disabilities
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one-quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability. Ensuring that the world we live in is disability inclusive and free from barriers which prevent full participation in all aspects of our society is not only an issue of basic human rights, but also one of citizenship.

To mark the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Liberal Party of Canada is proud to announce changes that make the Liberal Party's websites more accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. These changes have been made in full partnership with eSSENTIAL Accessibility Inc., a Canadian company committed to making online environments instantly accessible to people with physical disabilities.

When we eliminate barriers to information, people are able to participate more fully in social, civic and economic life, and reach their full potential. Our party will continue working with people with physical disabilities to improve their ability to communicate in an inclusive, accessible manner.

I call on the federal government to join other jurisdictions in finding innovative ways of increasing national accessibility to digital information for disabled persons.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is firmly committed to improving infrastructure in Canada, because we know how important it is to our economic growth and prosperity. No government in history has invested as much as we have with our $33 billion building Canada plan and the economic action plan.

Today the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities made an important announcement about how we plan to support infrastructure across Canada in the future.

I am very proud that our government is partnering with the provinces and territories, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan that will replace the building Canada plan after 2014.

The economy remains our government's number one priority. Building world-class infrastructure in Canada is good for job creation and it enhances our competitiveness. Together with our supportive partners, we will continue to build on our enormously successful building Canada plan.

I call on the opposition parties to finally get on the right side of this issue and support this important plan that is supported by our partners right across this great country.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, more and more people oppose the Conservatives' unbalanced incarceration agenda. The provinces have indicated that they do not have the means to pay for it. Police chiefs say that the Conservatives' approach is unbalanced. Families want more police officers on the street, not bigger prisons. And we now know that even the Minister of Public Safety thinks this bill is seriously flawed. He has even proposed amendments to the Conservatives' bill.

However, his own incompetence got in the way. It turns out that he cannot invoke closure, shut down debate and then put forward amendments.

The Conservatives now have a choice to make. They can stand with the chiefs of police, with provinces, with families, with their own Minister of Public Safety and vote against this failed prisons agenda.

If the public safety minister has any shred of integrity whatsoever, he will stand with others who know the bill is flawed and vote against it.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the opportunity to read a new job-killing scheme from a backroom NDP strategist.

It is clear that the NDP actually believes that money is spent on tax cuts. The NDP actually believes that income does not belong to Canadians, that it is just the money government has been kind enough not to tax.

Our government has cut taxes so Canadians can spend and invest their tax savings into our economy and job creators can spend their tax savings, invest in new equipment and technology and hire new employees. Thanks to our Conservative government, Canadians are paying a lot less tax than they used to. In fact, the average Canadian family pays up to $3,000 less in taxes than it used to before we took office. The NDP opposed this tax relief.

The NDP's plans to impose job-killing taxes on Canadian families and business is the last thing our economy needs.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was in Attawapiskat yesterday, and I want to tell the Prime Minister about the situation in that community. It is terrible, unimaginable, worse than anything we could imagine. People are living in shacks, tents and trailers. There is no running water, no heating. The little heat they do have could turn their shelters into fire traps. They are sleeping on mouldy mattresses and their children are living outdoors. What will the Prime Minister do? Will he show some leadership and go to visit these people?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the government has invested more than $90 million in this community and these results are unacceptable. That is why we are taking immediate action to help these people who are in need of immediate assistance. The government will also take action to improve the long-term management in the community. The minister will make an announcement about that later.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Prime Minister that we cannot just throw money at Attawapiskat and think that all its problems will be solved. It is true that this requires a short-, medium- and long-term plan. It takes political will, which we have not seen in the past 10 years. What is the Prime Minister waiting for? Where is his leadership?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the government that is taking action and the opposition that is voting against investments in this community. I will say it again: this government has invested more than $90 million. The results are unacceptable, and we will take other steps to obtain better results.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has to take responsibility. He has to take charge. It is his duty to help the people of Attawapiskat, an entire Canadian community living in third world conditions in the Arctic cold. It is minus 22°C today. That is what we see right now.

The Prime Minister should go there and see for himself. He should sleep in a shack in a sleeping bag. He would see that the sleeping bags provided by the Red Cross are not the solution. We need better. Winter is coming. Where is the action? Where is the leadership?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has invested more than $90 million in this community since coming to office. Obviously the results are not satisfactory.

That is why the government has people on the ground taking additional emergency action. It is also why we will be announcing additional steps to deal with management problems in this community.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, a state of emergency was declared in Attawapiskat a month ago. The situation is very serious. The Red Cross disaster relief team is on the ground now. But we want to know where the federal government's plan is. The government must work with the community to find a long-term solution.

Will the government declare a state of emergency and assist the people in distress in Attawapiskat?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are continuing to work with the province and the community to implement the emergency management plan to ensure the residents have access to warm, dry and safe shelter.

On the ground assessment has determined that urgent health and safety issues demand immediate action. Therefore, we have informed Chief Spence that we are placing the first nation in third party management.

I have also requested a comprehensive audit to identify how money has been spent and what oversight measures have been taken over the past five years.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, Attawapiskat is ground zero of a national catastrophe, and after a month of inaction when the Red Cross has had to step in, when emergency measures have had to step in, the Conservatives' solution is to blame the community. If they wanted to know what was happening in the community, they could have called their co-manager who is on the ground right now and with whom I spoke yesterday.

When the Red River floods, people show up. When Slave Lake burned, politicians showed up. Why are the people of Attawapiskat treated so differently? Why is it that when it is a first nation community in distress, the government's response is contempt?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our priority is ensuring that people in immediate need get adequate shelter as quickly as possible. We are also looking at ways to ensure this situation does not happen again.

We agree that we cannot have band-aid solutions. There are larger structural issues that need to be addressed. We will provide short and longer-term ways to address these concerns.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government that should be placed under third party management is right across the way. It is right over there. That is what should be under third party management.

It is a classic case. There are dozens of Attawapiskats right across the country. It is not the only community that is facing these conditions and these difficulties. In her last report, the Auditor General of Canada said that the aboriginal people of our country were living in intolerable conditions.

It is the government that has to take responsibility for what has happened and not simply continue to blame the victims. The government is all hat and no cattle when it comes to—

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, this government has made large scale investments into this community, unlike the party opposite when it was in government. This government is determined and is prepared to take the steps necessary to ensure results with those funds.

By the way, that is why the people of Canada placed the Liberal Party under third party management.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can see how seriously the Prime Minister takes this problem. He is still doing the same thing he did yesterday: investments in health and education are included in the $90 million he is still talking about today. The Auditor General clearly said that the federal government is responsible for the problems with living conditions in Attawapiskat and in all the other communities struggling with the same problems. It must take responsibility.

When will the government take responsibility and resolve these problems?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable to hear the Liberal Party criticize this government for investing in education, health and housing in this community. Those are our responsibilities. Education is the most important thing for the future of people in that community, and we will continue to make such investments.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the government's first decisions was to cancel a $5 billion agreement that was negotiated for over a year between the provinces and the federal government, known as the Kelowna accord. It was booked in the financial details of the company—

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto-Centre has the floor.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, so much for decorum. We know where decorum normally lies in the House. Those guys are prepared to heckle, intimidate, clap and stop others from talking. That is the way they manage.

That is why if there is a trusteeship to be established, it should be a trusteeship on the government. It is the one that failed to take responsibility. It is the one that is failing to take charge. That is where the problem lies.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party's idea of acting when it was in government, after 13 years, was putting out a press release without a plan. That is what we got from the Liberal Party.

This government has put $90 million into this community. On behalf of all Canadians and the ordinary members of that first nation, this government is prepared to do what the others were not prepared to do, and that is to ensure there is good management in these communities.

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, B.C. families did not want the Conservative-Liberal harmonized sales tax three years ago, but the Conservative government refused to listen. We rejected the unfair tax again in referendum last summer. The government wants to make B.C. families pay billions in penalties. The government continues to stall and refuses to implement the removal of the HST.

Will the Conservatives finally take responsibility for their role and negotiate a fair deal for British Columbians? Why do they continue to ask B.C. families to pick up the tab for this absolute, utter, complete Conservative-Liberal HST fiasco?

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we actually respect provincial jurisdiction. Harmonization of the sales tax is provincial jurisdiction. British Columbia chose not to continue with that, but the B.C. government acknowledged the that harmonization agreement stipulated that transitional assistance must be recovered should the province wish to exit the program.

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the sound we are hearing is the Conservatives desperately trying to blame somebody. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

The government has already collected two years of HST revenue from B.C. families. The unfair Conservative tax has already cost B.C. families hundreds upon hundreds of dollars a year. The Conservative government seems to want to make British Columbians pay and pay and pay.

When will the government agree to give families a break and stop making them pay for the Conservative-Liberal HST fiasco? When will it fix the B.C. HST error?

Harmonized Sales Tax
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only HST error comes from the members of the NDP. They are uncertain whether they are for it or against it. For example, in British Columbia I understand now they are against it. In Quebec they are for the HST. In Nova Scotia they actually supported an increase in the HST.

Those members cannot have it both ways. Either they want to reduce taxes for Canadians and make taxes fairer or they do not. I am assuming they do not.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, once upon a time, there was a CBC reporter, now the Minister of the Environment, who warned us that greenhouse gases were, and I quote, the “most important of all the environmental questions”. How times have changed.

At the time, he said that future generations would have to worry about the threat posed by greenhouse gases and, well, here we are.

What is the minister waiting for to come up with a real plan, instead of pulling Canada out of Kyoto?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me assure my colleague that Canada will participate in the Durban conference in the same good faith we have demonstrated at pre-COP meetings all through this year.

Canada is working toward a new single international climate change agreement that would include all major emitters. The Cancun agreements, based on the Copenhagen accord, provide a solid foundation for such a regime. In Durban we will work to implement this agreement.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I do not have a lot of faith in that good faith because it is Conservative inaction that has made us a climate change laggard and denied Canadians jobs in the new energy economy.

I do not blame the Conservatives for wanting to pull out. Kyoto's independent emissions audits have exposed six years of failure by the government, six years of failed environmental policies and six years of failed federal leadership.

The government's climate inaction kills Canadian jobs. When will it stop blaming the Liberals for the failure of Kyoto? When will it actually introduce a plan for a transition to a new energy economy?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for reminding the House that the Kyoto agreement was one of the biggest blunders the previous Liberal government made.

Canada will not take on a new target under the Kyoto protocol, but we will not obstruct those who wish to cling to it. The protocol is neither effective nor fair and it is does include commitments by all major emitters.

We do remain committed to the Copenhagen accord, which the Prime Minister signed. We are working toward reaching our 2020 reduction targets.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government admitted that its prison agenda bill was flawed. The Minister of Public Safety tried to introduce 11th hour amendments to Bill C-10 only to be ruled out of order by the Speaker. It seems that the mountain of opposition from experts, crown prosecutors, the provinces and the public has struck a nerve.

Now that the government has admitted its bill is flawed, will it finally work with others to make improvements, or will it continue to insist on ramming the bill through Parliament?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we will make no such admission. The bill is very targeted. It goes after drug dealers and child molesters.

We consulted with the people of Canada. Millions of Canadians heard what we had to say. They gave us their support, and we are very grateful for that.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, talking to the Conservatives about Bill C-10 is like talking to a brick wall.

Yesterday in the House, the government finally admitted that its crime bill, Bill C-10, is seriously flawed. Experts agree. Police chiefs agree. The provinces agree. This bill is bad and unbalanced and will cost the provinces a fortune. After months of ignoring everyone, the government finally seems to understand that it made a mistake.

Will the government send the bill back to committee so we can make the necessary changes, or will it continue down the wrong path, to the detriment of the provinces and Canadian families?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the vast majority of Canadians and Quebeckers—except for those across the floor—understand the important objective of Bill C-10, that is, protecting Canadians from violent criminals.

Furthermore, an eminent Quebecker, former minister Marc Bellemare, recently said, “Minister Fournier did not speak for all Quebeckers in Ottawa. I think this bill is in line with Quebec's values.”

It is time for the opposition to stop deceiving Canadians and Quebeckers.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, service at EI call centres is the worst it has been in six years and yet the minister still will not admit she has a problem. She has the gall to blame staff for service slowdowns. That is outrageous. That minister cut 1,000 processing agent jobs. That is why call centres cannot keep up and jobless Canadians cannot reach anyone when they need help.

When will the minister stop her work to rule, admit she has a problem and fix Service Canada call centres?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we do want to ensure that Canadians get access to the benefits they need and deserve in a timely manner. That is why we are investing in upgrades to the systems, whether it is our EI processing, which is woefully paper-based and takes way too long to process, or whether it is our call centres.

I would point out that the member opposite's numbers are a bit wrong. In fact, most calls for assistance are handled and answered through the automated system.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is desperately trying to justify its bad decisions. A thousand Service Canada agents who process employment insurance claims have been laid off since the spring. Frustrated unemployed workers have to wait weeks before they are able speak to a representative. The minister is now accusing employees of purposely slowing down the work.

Will this government finally recognize that its cuts at Service Canada are responsible for the distress of unemployed workers' families?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, under our economic action plan to deal with the global recession, we did engage quite a number of additional personnel on a short-term basis. The employees knew that. The unions knew that. It was to help get over the spike in EI claims.

Our unemployment rate is down. We no longer need all of those people to process. They were released. Many of them though were actually absorbed into the system to work and to continue to improve services so Canadians get the benefits they need in a timely manner.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism claimed that only two Immigration and Refugee Board appointments had “any association with the Conservative Party”. The facts disagree. Uppal, Guénette, Wolman, Andrachuk were all failed Conservative candidates and all were appointed by the government. However, there is more. At least 10 appointments were Conservative donors and another was a senior adviser to a Conservative minister.

Why are the Conservatives making partisan appointments to an independent tribunal? Why did that minister mislead the House?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

I did no such thing, Mr. Speaker. I said that I was aware of 2 individuals that I had appointed out of 150 appointments and reappointments. Every one of those individuals made it through the very rigorous pre-screening process, where 90% of candidates are not actually recommended to the minister.

Just last week the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told me that he thought Canada continued to had the world's model asylum system. It is unfortunate that the NDP is denigrating the independence and the integrity of this important quasi-judicial body, which is regarded as a model throughout the world and which now has the most rigorous pre-screening process for appointments in its history.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, as of today the Conservatives are in formal default of their promise of a Muskrat Falls loan guarantee.

After over a year of analysis, a financial equivalent is being floated instead. Offering a financial equivalent is a refusal to assume any future risk for the project. It is not a true loan guarantee and is not what was promised. In contrast, a true loan guarantee would not cost the federal treasury a nickel as long as the project was technically and financially and economically viable.

Will a loan guarantee be offered, yes or no?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Muskrat Falls project will provide significant economic benefits to the Atlantic region and will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have reached many milestones in this process, including the new dawn agreement with the Innu of Labrador, and appointing a financial adviser to ensure taxpayer interests are respected.

We will work together to ensure there is a guarantee. There will be a guarantee—

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Beauséjour.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, eight months ago, Hank Tepper went to Lebanon with a Canadian trade delegation to sell potatoes. He has been held in a tiny Beirut jail cell ever since. Eight months in a Beirut jail for dubious allegations about potatoes sent to Algeria four years ago. This makes no sense at all.

The minister should understand that a consular visit for 10 minutes, once a month, by a junior officer at our embassy, is not going to solve the problem. When will she take her responsibility and bring this Canadian citizen home to New Brunswick for Christmas?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, the House knows that the government is very concerned about Mr. Tepper's case and knows how difficult this is for him and his family. I have said this before, consular officials in Lebanon have been actively providing consular assistance and support to Mr. Tepper and his family since his arrival.

As I have also mentioned, we are engaging on Mr. Tepper's behalf through quiet and diplomatic channels because we strongly believe that this is the best possible approach, and we will continue to work in Mr. Tepper's best interests.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, prejudicial legal manoeuvring continues in the political persecution against former Ukrainian prime minister Tymoshenko. Now the judge, who was to hear her appeal tomorrow, has just been fired, and her health in jail continues to deteriorate.

Other governments are wading in. What is Canada doing? Is Canada insisting on all legal proceedings being public? Has independent medical help been provided, and has Ukraine been warned that anything untoward happening to Ms. Tymoshenko will damage relations with Canada?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has spoken out strongly against politically-based judicial proceedings. We are tremendously concerned by what we have seen in Ukraine. We have been very clear with the government of Ukraine that Canada, Canadians, and the Government of Canada expects that this individual will be treated fairly with an independent judicial process, and that there would be consequences to our bilateral relations if this does not happen.

We remain very concerned about her health and are certainly prepared to offer her anything we can to support her in that regard.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the so-called build Canada infrastructure fund will run out in 2014, but the government cannot be trusted to give municipalities what they need: accountable, comprehensive and transparent funding. It does not even know how many jobs were created from the economic action plan.

To ensure transparency and accountability this time, will the minister commit to tabling progress reports on each phase of his consultations?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was very proud this morning, on behalf of the Prime Minister, to launch the new three phase process for the new infrastructure plan.

I have here press release from the Fédération canadienne des municipalités, Connect Canada, Engineers Canada, and Union des municipalités du Québec, all supporting the great job we are doing with infrastructure.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, two out of three infrastructure applications from first nations communities have been rejected since 2006. That is close to 1,000 applications from aboriginal communities for roads, sewage treatment and clean water. The first nations were just told no. The result is desperate situations. These important applications should not be dismissed. They should be reviewed and approved.

Why does the infrastructure minister continue to tolerate third world conditions in first nations communities?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we have spent unprecedented money on infrastructure on reserves. It does not all come out of the stimulus spending plan. A lot of it is departmental spending. We have spent it on water and waste water systems. We have spent it on housing. We have spent it through Health Canada on health clinics.

This is an unprecedented level of investment in first nations by any other government. This is a big accomplishment and we want to continue to build from that.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, our communities are facing major challenges. Although the government made the excise tax permanent, it is still insufficient to address our communities' infrastructure priorities. The government's excise tax brings in 10¢ a litre but municipalities receive only 5¢ a litre.

Will the government commit to indexing the amount given to the municipalities and thus assure Canadians that the money paid will indeed be invested in our communities?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this morning, I had the honour of presenting, on behalf of our great Prime Minister, a new infrastructure program for 2014 onward.

This morning, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities praised the work of this government saying that no government has done as much for this country's infrastructure as our government has in the past few years: we have invested $33 billion in the building Canada fund, something that has never been seen in the history of this country.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, while we wait for 2014, this government is once again turning its back on families and refusing to respond to calls for financing for the new Guertin amphitheatre in Gatineau and the new coliseum in Trois-Rivières. This infrastructure is an important economic driver for these regions and allows families to be more active and to attend sporting and cultural events.

Why is this government refusing to make any sort of contribution? Does this government want to kill these regions' economies at any price?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have said it before and we have repeated it in the past few days. I issued a statement on November 10 and I sent a letter to the Government of Quebec dated November 21 to the effect that our government will not support sports infrastructure that will be used for professional sports and major junior league teams. We have been very clear. We have said it repeatedly. This applies to the entire country—not just one region but the entire country. We will continue in that direction.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Statistics Canada reported that Canada's economy grew 3.5% in the third quarter. This growth is beyond the expectations of private sector economists. It is a positive sign in troubled times. Yet, we know that as a result of this period of economic uncertainty, there are many Canadian families that are struggling to make ends meet.

Would the Prime Minister please comment on the government's plan to protect jobs and economic growth in Canada?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, today's numbers showing significant growth in the Canadian economy last quarter are very encouraging. At the same time, we remain very concerned about the problems in Europe, particularly the problems of debt and deficit.

These problems are part and parcel of the fragile global economy. That is why we will continue to focus on our plan to keep taxes low in order to foster employment and growth.

We will continue to be focused, as a government, on jobs and growth, and also on keeping taxes low. Now is not the time for the kind of job killing tax hikes proposed by the NDP.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, Henk Tepper's family, in New Brunswick, is still waiting for him to come home safe and sound.

Today, we learned the RCMP sent his private information to Algeria before he was arrested. This sounds like the Maher Arar scandal all over again.

Will the Conservative government take responsibility for its role in this affair and will it tell this House, and the Tepper family, what it is doing to bring Henk Tepper home today?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am advised that the RCMP has assisted Interpol with a criminal investigation. I am also advised that the RCMP co-operation was done in accordance with Canadian law. It would be inappropriate to comment any further as this matter is ongoing.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not good enough to say that the minister cannot speak publicly. What we have learned today is too serious. This is not the first time that personal information about Canadian citizens has been sent to foreign governments, and often in very problematic situations. The RCMP did not even advise Mr. Tepper that it was providing his personal information to a foreign country.

What does this government intend to do to address this situation and return Mr. Tepper to Canada?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am advised that the RCMP has assisted Interpol with a criminal investigation. I am also advised that the RCMP co-operation was done in accordance with Canadian law. It would be inappropriate to comment any further as this investigation is ongoing.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fate of Canadians detained abroad is not the only problem. After spending months turning in circles without making any announcements, the government is now prepared to sign the border agreement with the United States. No one knows what is in that agreement. The Privacy Commissioner is concerned about the way the information will be shared with the Americans, but the government refuses to talk to her.

I have a very simple question: will the government commit to presenting the agreement to Parliament?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, no final agreement has been reached. Ongoing discussions are taking place. When there is an agreement to be announced, members opposite will certainly be among the first to hear that.

We are seeking to establish a relationship with the Obama administration to ensure that the border is not a barrier to jobs, economic growth, or growing the Canadian economy. There is a reason why the Canadian economy grew by 3.5% in the third quarter. It is because this government is focused like a laser on jobs and the economy, and we are going to continue to do so.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, how can anyone trust the government? Every time it negotiates with the Americans, it costs Canadian jobs and Canadian families lose out. That is the record. From the softwood lumber sellout thickening the border or new fees slapped on Canadians to the government's botched efforts on buy American, Conservatives have failed to defend the interests of Canadians every single time.

When will the minister bring an agreement before Parliament? Will the Conservatives let Canadians see what they are giving away this time?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the Obama administration to try to allow trade to go back and forth between Canada and the United States. This is not just important but it is vital to the auto sector in southwestern Ontario and critical to the future economy of Windsor-Essex.

The member opposite disagrees with free trade. He does not want us to trade with the United States. He does not want a trade agreement with the United States. If he will not fight for jobs in Windsor-Essex, maybe he should step aside and let those of us on this side of the House do it.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has used privacy as a reason for getting rid of the long form census. It used privacy as an excuse for killing the long gun registry. Despite its apparent concern about privacy, we now learn that the government is willing to sign a perimeter security deal with the U.S., sharing the travelling information of Canadians.

Why do the Americans have the right to know where Canadians are travelling if they are not going to or over American territory?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, no agreement has been concluded. No agreement has been announced. Yet, the member opposite is scaremongering Canadians.

We are seeking a constructive relationship with the Obama administration to ensure that goods and services can make their way across the border. That is good for Canadian jobs, good for American jobs, and good for economic growth. That is the focus that this government is taking: job protection and job creation here in Canada.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the name of privacy, this government refuses to give the provinces the information from the firearms registry—which would improve protection for the public and our police officers—but it is prepared to give the Americans some very personal information, such as the fact that Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so left Labelle and went to Paris.

Why does the Conservative government trust the American authorities more than the provincial governments, its Canadian partners?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, every time Canadians travel to the United States they produce their passport, they have to tell the authorities who they are and where they are going. The reality is that we want it to be as easy as possible for Canadian firms to do business in the United States, to build and manufacture goods and services right here in Canada, and to sell them south of the border.

A thickening border is preventing that and this government, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, is doing the right thing for Canada, the right thing for jobs, and working constructively with the Obama administration. That is real leadership.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, this summer, when the Conservatives decided to profess their love for the royals by hanging portraits of the Queen all over the place and adding the word “royal” to the name of our air force, they completely forgot to think about an appropriate French acronym. In a rush, they decided to use the name “forces aériennes royales canadiennes”, or FARC. You do not need to know much about geopolitics to know that FARC is a Colombian terrorist organization.

Who will the Minister of National Defence blame for this mistake?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is clear. Our air force's French name is Aviation royale du Canada, and we are very proud of that name.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Lieutenant-General Charlie Bouchard and our entire Royal Canadian Air Force for all they did to bring about the successful liberation of the people of Libya.

Congratulations and thank you.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the name change was improvised. The French acronym was created on the fly. This mistake highlights the lack of consideration for the French language. The Conservatives are improvising all over the place: the management of military bases, the purchase of equipment, our veterans. That is a worrying trend.

How does the minister explain to francophone air force personnel and their families, who are proud of the work they do, that his department's original plan was to rename the air force with the acronym of a terrorist organization?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, restoring the historic royal designation of the three branches re-establishes an important and recognizable part of our military heritage and establishes a link with similar important contributions made by the Canadian Forces today. We are very proud of this name and we are certainly very proud of the people who work very hard for our country every day.

National Defence
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in July of this year our Canadian Forces handed over Task Force Kandahar to American personnel, and we began drawing down on equipment and personnel.

The Canadian focus for the next few years will be our training mission centred in and around Kabul. Today we learned that Task Force Canuck, our tactical air lift unit, will be welcomed home at 8 Wing Trenton.

Can the Minister of National Defence tell the House what Task Force Canuck accomplished in Kandahar?

National Defence
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member for Northumberland—Quinte West, home of 8 Wing Trenton, is correct.

Today the Chief of the Defence Staff and other senior military commanders will welcome home the crew of Task Force Canuck, our outstanding Hercules aircraft unit that conducted operations in Afghanistan.

They began their engagement in Afghanistan in 2001, transporting Canadian Forces personnel and equipment in and out of the Kandahar airfield, as well as supporting the ISAF mission brilliantly. They completed more than 3,400 logistical and operational missions successfully and safely over that 10-year period.

We welcome them home. We thank them. We congratulate them. They are the best.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the IOUs for climate change are coming.

Instead of trying to solve climate change, the Conservatives are saying “Get used to it; let us adapt”, and worse, they are paying lip service to that enormous cost of adaptation.

These enormous IOUs for climate change add to the $600 billion of debt that the Conservatives are passing on to our kids. We are causing climate change; why should our kids pay for it? I believe that is not fair. I believe that is immoral.

Why have the Conservatives made Canada a quitter on solving climate change?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is bad enough that the Liberals embraced Kyoto in the first place, but what made it truly outrageous was that they did so with no intention of ever fulfilling their obligations.

Let me just offer a quote from another lucid member of this House.

[The Liberal government's] plan in terms of the Kyoto agreement was basically written on the back of an airplane napkin on the way to Kyoto. There was no long term planning. There was no real negotiation with the provinces or with industry sectors. In fact it was a last minute, hastily drafted agreement.

Who said that? It was the member for Kings—Hants in a moment of—

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 7 Air Canada decided to move its head office to Brampton, Ontario. This move will force over 140 employees to choose between moving their families and losing their jobs. There is a good chance most of them will choose to remain in Montreal, which could make it very difficult for Air Canada employees to obtain services in French.

Will the minister enforce the law stipulating that Air Canada's head office must be located in Montreal, and will he protect bilingualism within Air Canada?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to my hon. colleague, I would remind her that we recently introduced a bill on respect for official languages that allows the Commissioner of Official Languages to deal directly with companies that are under contract with Air Canada. There is also an amendment to compel the company to honour its commitments. Air Canada is a private corporation and we want it to be as successful as possible here in Canada.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying yesterday, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. That is exactly what we are going to do.

The NDP has punished its members for voting with their constituents. It has sent members into committee to try to gut our legislation and is now engaging in misleading propaganda, claiming that restricted firearms would become non-restricted after the registry is abolished.

Could the minister comment on whether ending the long gun registry will do this?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, first the NDP showed a restricted firearm on its misleading ads and claimed it was non-restricted. When this deceit was uncovered, it was forced to change its ads. What were they replaced with? Yet another restricted firearm that the NDP claims to be non-restricted.

I would call on the NDP to end this ridiculous and misleading campaign. Repeatedly playing fast and loose with the facts just shows Canadians that the NDP is unfit to govern.

Canada Post
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the planned cuts to Canada Post, we are starting to wonder whether people have to live downtown to be entitled to postal service. Does the government forget that mail delivery is an essential service? Canadians and Quebeckers who live in rural areas need and are entitled to receive their mail and have a post office nearby. Driving or walking 20, 30 or 40 minutes to get the mail is unacceptable.

Why is the government refusing to keep rural post offices open?

Canada Post
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to quality postal service for all Canadians, no matter where they live. That is why our government introduced the Canadian Postal Service Charter. We expect Canada Post to abide by the charter and provide quality postal service that Canadians can count on.

We are focused on service to Canadians like a laser. That member is zapped.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, again, the Conservative government is embarrassing us at the Climate Change Conference in Durban by collecting fossil awards and taking jabs here and there for its inaction on reducing greenhouse gases. The Premier of Quebec, his environment minister, and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu all denounce Canada's attitude.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us whose interests he is promoting in Durban? Certainly not those of the Quebec companies that have invested in sustainable development in accordance with the Kyoto protocol; they will be penalized by the government's sabotage.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government is proud of the abundance of natural resources with which our country has been blessed. We are also proud of the responsible and sustainable way that these resources are being developed. Finally, we are proud of our commitment to the Copenhagen and Cancun agreements and our pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020.

Financial Literacy Leader Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act.

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

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian joint delegation of the Canada-China Legislative Association and the Canada-Japan Inter-parliamentary Group regarding its participation in the 15th annual Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians Conference on the Environment and Development or APPCED, which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from June 6 to 9, 2011.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its bilateral visits to Ethiopia and Senegal last month, from October 9 to 14, 2011.

Veterans Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs in relation to the Supplementary Estimates (B), 2011-12.

Justice and Human Rights
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to Supplementary Estimates (B), 2011-12, Votes 30b and 35b, under the Department of Justice.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to Bill C-20, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867, the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and the Canada Elections Act. The committee studied the bill and decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to the 2011 pre-budget consultations.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in this report later this day.

Public Safety and National Security
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

My constituents in Crowfoot and millions of Canadians have been waiting for this moment for more than 10 years. Bill C-19 would scrap the failed and costly long gun registry. This bill would decriminalize law-abiding responsible firearms owners and users all across Canada. I am pleased to present this report.

ALS Month Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-366, An Act to designate the month of June as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) Month.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to reintroduce a private member's bill that would designate the month of June as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis month. As it says, it is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. This bill would ensure that throughout Canada in each and every year, the month of June would be known as ALS month.

I have a very personal connection to this terrible disease. I lost my father to ALS a number of years ago, so raising awareness and encouraging research are causes close to my heart. I hope all members will support this initiative.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-367, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for dues paid to veterans' organizations).

Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise this afternoon to reintroduce a bill that would create a fully refundable tax credit for membership dues paid to veterans' organizations.

The bill would provide a tax refund to members of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada Association and other veterans' organizations for the full cost of their membership dues.

Veterans' organizations have been facing a tough financial time. A tax credit for membership dues would allow them to raise the money they need to operate without putting their members into financial hardship, many of whom are living on a fixed income.

This measure would give our veterans' organizations some important fiscal room which they critically need. Veterans' organizations do so much valuable work in our communities and their members give countless hours to volunteer in our communities for local causes.

I want to acknowledge a particularly dedicated volunteer from my riding, Mr. Harvey McAuley from Collingwood Legion Branch 48, who is feeling under the weather right now.

I hope all members of the House will support my bill which would give financial relief to veterans' organizations and their members.

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

Canada Elections Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-368, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (voting age).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to reintroduce a bill that would lower the voting age in federal elections to 16 years. I believe this is an important step that would improve democracy and civic participation in Canada.

The history of voting rights in Canada is one of making voting increasingly accessible. Initially, only property-owning males 21 years or older were eligible to vote. Over time, women, first nations and other minorities were included. The property requirement was scrapped and the voting age was lowered to 18.

I believe it is time for a serious debate about further broadening access to our most cherished democratic rights. We must note that young people pay taxes and are subject to federal laws, and therefore, they deserve a voice in government.

Too many Canadians choose not to vote, and non-voting is epidemic among young people. Lowering the voting age to 16 years would ensure that new voters would be in high school for their first election. This would permit reinvigorated civics education in our schools, making young people better aware of political issues, their impact on their lives and the importance of voter participation in our democracy.

We note that a number of other countries allow citizens to vote at 16 years, including Austria and Brazil.

I hope the bill spurs a much needed conversation about improving democracy and voter participation in Canada. I seek the support of all of my colleagues to add to that important democratic debate.

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

Excise Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-369, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on batteries for medical and assistive devices).

Mr. Speaker, I rise to reintroduce a bill that would remove the federal sales tax from the purchase of batteries used in medical equipment or devices.

This idea comes from a constituent of mine, Mr. James McAllister, who is a senior in Vancouver Kingsway. He lives in a city with a high cost of living. He has medical expenses, which include the purchase of batteries for essential medical devices. He was shocked that he had to pay tax on his medically necessary purchases.

There is an important principle reflected in our current law that sales taxes should not be charged on products that are essential for health and well-being.

The initial purchase of medical devices, including the battery, is currently tax exempt. However, tax is charged on replacement batteries for these medically necessary devices.

Ending the sales tax on replacement batteries would fix an important oversight in our tax laws. The cost to taxpayers for this exemption would be slight, but would have a significant positive impact on many low income seniors in my community and across the country.

As members of Parliament, we should all be in our communities talking to our constituents, hearing their concerns and proposing legislation that addresses their real concerns.

I hope that I can count on the support of all parties for this sensible and reasonable bill.

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

Canada National Parks Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-370, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Ajax—Pickering for seconding my motion.

The bill would amend the Canada National Parks Act by renaming the St. Lawrence Islands National Park as the 1000 Islands national park.

St. Lawrence Islands National Park could be almost anywhere from Kingston to Newfoundland, but in fact it is in the 1000 Islands region. As such, a more appropriate name for the park would be the 1000 Islands national park. There has been significant public consultation on this and I am pleased to put this bill forward.

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

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-371, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (illness of child) and another Act in consequence.

Mr. Speaker, I do not have as many bills as the member for Vancouver Kingsway, but I am happy to introduce this private member's bill that would amend the Employment Insurance Act.

The bill would assist parents when they are caring for a child who is severely ill. I have had this bill in previous parliaments. The bill would increase compassionate care with the possibility of additional expansion of that support if the child remains under medical care and the parent must remain home with the child. I am happy to put this bill forward.

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

Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-372, An Act to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act (members’ staff).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to reintroduce my bill to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. I hope that all members representing all caucuses in the House of Commons will support what is a matter of simple justice.

My bill proposes to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to ensure that staff of senators and members of the House of Commons who serve in the capacity of member, leader, House leader, or whip, would enjoy the benefit of being permitted, if they so choose, to organize a union, to belong to a union, and to enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining.

I do not need to tell members that this is a set of rights and privileges that is considered fundamental in a modern democratic society such as Canada. In fact, we work long and hard to ensure that those rights are protected and advanced for all working people.

I must say that I was astonished when I arrived on Parliament Hill to discover that only the NDP caucus had voluntarily recognized the organization of its staff on Parliament Hill. In spite of that, they still do not enjoy the full benefits of collective bargaining. It remains true to this day that neither the employer nor the employee enjoys the full recognition of a union or an employer that is engaged in a collective bargaining process, and has obligations that go with that under the current legislation that governs this House.

As I said, this is a matter of fundamental justice, and for that reason, I hope that all members of the House will support my bill.

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

Department of Peace Act
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-373, An Act to establish the Department of Peace.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my bill, an act to establish the department of peace, to help advance the cause of peace in Canada and throughout the world.

The idea that all people can live in peace may seem a bit utopian, but each generation must, on behalf of the next generation, do everything in its power to come as close to reaching this goal as possible.

I would like to pay tribute to my former colleague, Bill Siksay, for introducing this bill in the last Parliament. He truly was and remains an inspiration for all of us.

I would also like to thank the leader of the Green Party and the Liberal member for Scarborough—Agincourt, as well as my fellow NDP members, for supporting this bill.

I also thank the folks from the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative for all their hard work in advancing this cause, a number of whom are here today. I extend a special thanks to Bill Bhaneja, the co-founder of CDPI, as well as Theresa Dunn, co-chair of CDPI, Koozma Tarasoff, a Doukhobor writer, historian and long-time advocate of peace, and Laura Savinkoff of Grand Forks of the Boundary Peace Initiative, among others.

This is truly a non-partisan issue. I urge all my colleagues on both sides of the House to join us in support of this important initiative. Let us give peace a chance.

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

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the third report of the Standing Committee on Finance, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

This report requests an extension to table the report on the 2011 prebudget consultations.

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is there unanimous consent?

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Finance
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

(Motion agreed to)

Child Care
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have one petition with many signatures on it to do with child care. The petitioners indicate that child care is often not accessible or affordable for Canadian families and is often of uncertain quality for young children. They indicate 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 are calling on the House of Commons to legislate the right to universal access to child care and 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.

The federal government must establish funding criteria and reporting mechanisms that ensure accountability for how the provinces and territories use federal funding to ensure quality, accessibility, universality and accountability, and that acknowledges Quebec's right to develop social programs with adequate compensation from the federal government.

Child Pornography
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the scourge of child pornography has become more widespread with the advent of the Internet.

While serving as trustee of the Ottawa Public Library, I fought, with success, to protect children from Internet pornography. In fact, our local solution became the pan-Canadian model promoted by the Canadian Library Association.

This afternoon, I would like to bring to your attention a petition signed by more than 5,000 Canadians from across Canada, asking Parliament to pass harsher laws to deal with people who abuse our children.

Statistics indicate that 39% of criminals with child pornography in their possession have images of children between the ages of three and five. Furthermore, 83% of these criminals have images that show children between the ages of six and twelve being sexually abused.

At present, section 163 of the Criminal Code of Canada imposes negligible minimum sentences such as 90 days imprisonment for making child pornography. For possession of such materials, a criminal may be sentenced to only 14 days in jail.

With this petition, Canadians are demanding higher minimum sentences to protect our children, fight pedophilia and provide more justice.

Safe Streets and Communities Legislation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition wherein the signatories express their concern that the bundling together of nine separate bills in one omnibus bill, Bill C-10, prevents the informed consideration that each bill independently warrants.

They further express concern that the costs for implementing these bills have not been properly assessed, and that the provinces of Quebec and Ontario have expressed their refusal to pay for these measures. The petitioners call upon Parliament to separate the bills and allow members to consider each of the bills separately.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by a number of people from all over Ontario.

The petitioners are concerned about a proposed mega quarry in Melancthon township in Dufferin country. It would be the largest open-pit quarry in Canada, being 2,300 acres. They are concerned about a number of things included in the proposed mega quarry application, one being that there are distinct issues relating to the use of water operations based on NAFTA considerations, which may have a very substantial negative financial implication federally and provincially.

The petitioners have asked that the Government of Canada conduct an environmental assessment, under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, on The Highland Companies' proposed mega quarry development.

Crime
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present again a petition signed by Canadians from across British Columbia. It concerns Bill C-10.

The petitioners say that the omnibus crime bill crudely bundles together too many pieces of unrelated legislation, some of it makes sense and some of it does not. They say that there is a big problem with implementation because the provinces of Ontario and Quebec may refuse to pay for the cost of implementing parts of the bill which would be downloaded on them.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to separate Bill C-10 into its pieces and allow members to vote on each of its parts separately.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, this may be my last opportunity to rise on the subject of climate change before leaving for Durban in the next day. I will be gone from the House for a while.

It is my honour to present a petition from residents of Quebec and Alberta who are very concerned about the costs of the climate crisis, costs that are not being adequately considered but which have been estimated by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy to be $5 billion per year by 2020, rising to up to $43 billion per year by 2050. As my hon. colleague, the member for Kingston and the Islands, put it so eloquently in his question earlier today, these will be costs that we will pass on to our children.

The petitioners call for real targets, real reductions, as were passed by the House in the last session: 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Multiple Sclerosis
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions today.

The first petition is with regard CCSVI. Over 15,000 procedures have now been performed in 60 countries. While the government has announced a request for proposals for phase I/II trials, leading CCSVI physicians and researchers in North America recommend an adaptive phase II/III trial. Eighteen months have passed since our initial request for clinical trials. On average, 400 Canadians die of MS each year. By the end of this year, 800 Canadians will have died from MS-related complications or suicide.

The petitioners call for the Minister of Health to consult experts actively engaged in diagnoses and treatment of CCSVI to undertake phase III clinical trials on an urgent basis, with a large patient participation in multiple centres across Canada, and to require follow-up care.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is with regard the atmospheric ozone layer, which is critical to life on Earth, through its regulation of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Canada participated in the eighth meeting of the Ozone research managers of the parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in May 2011. Its presentation said that balloonsonde networks provided critical high-resolution vertical profiles of ozone, water vapour, and temperature, and needed to be maintained and expanded, since such data was critical to understanding the interactions between atmospheric composition and a changing climate.

The petitioners therefore call upon the Minister of the Environment to develop a plan to ensure the integrity of the ozone monitoring program and commission a report to assess the adequacy of Canadian contributions to the global observing system for climate in support of the UN FCCC.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 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, if Question No. 175 could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 175
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

With regard to public subsidies to federal political parties and political contributions: (a) what was the total value given for calendar year 2010 as a part of the so-called “per vote subsidy” (also sometimes referred to as the "government allowance") to the (i) Conservative Party of Canada, (ii) New Democratic Party of Canada, (iii) Liberal Party of Canada, (iv) Green Party of Canada, (v) Bloc Québécois; (b) what was the total value given following the 2008 general election under the electoral expense reimbursement (also sometimes referred to as "government rebates", "government transfers", or "election rebates") including both the total national expense reimbursements received and the total riding expense reimbursements received to the (i) Conservative Party of Canada and candidates, (ii) New Democratic Party of Canada and candidates, (iii) Liberal Party of Canada and candidates, (iv) Green Party of Canada and candidates, (v) Bloc Québécois and candidates; (c) what was the total value given in calendar year 2010 via the personal income tax credit subsidy of political contributions as per the Income Tax Act to the (i) Conservative Party of Canada donors, (ii) New Democratic Party of Canada donors, (iii) Liberal Party of Canada donors, (iv) Green Party of Canada donors, (v) Bloc Québécois donors; (d) what percentage of the total amount paid out via the “per vote subsidy” went to the Conservative Party of Canada compared to all other registered political parties; (e) what percentage of the total amount paid out via the electoral expense reimbursements went to the Conservative Party of Canada and candidates thereof compared to all other registered political parties and candidates thereof; (f) what percentage of the total amount paid out via the personal income tax credit subsidy of political contributions went to Conservative Party of Canada donors compared to donors to all other registered political parties; and (g) which of the three aforementioned political subsidies to political parties has the government announced it intends to eliminate?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Community of Attawapiskat
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The Chair has notice of a request for an emergency debate. I will give the floor now to the hon. member for Timmins--James Bay.

Community of Attawapiskat
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to request a motion for the adjournment of the House for the purpose of an emergency debate on the government's response to the appalling conditions in the community of Attawapiskat on the James Bay coast in the riding of Timmins--James Bay. This is seconded by my colleague from Nanaimo—Cowichan.

Yesterday, I went to Attawapiskat with the Leader of the Opposition and I saw that the crisis affecting the Attawapiskat people is urgent. The situation is very serious in that community. It is clear that this situation is a true emergency that requires an immediate and urgent assessment by the House.

I was in the community of Attawapiskat yesterday for the second time in a month and conditions have deteriorated significantly. It is crystal clear that when citizens in Canada are living in unheated sheds and coughing up blood that it is a situation that requires a response.

I am asking for the immediate and urgent consideration of the House as set out in Standing Order 52(6)(a).

It has been a month since the community declared a state of emergency and now after a month, Red Cross emergency teams are on the ground. Emergency Management Ontario has been doing an independent analysis of the situation facing the families. There has been an outpouring of national concern, including this afternoon when the Ontario Public School Board called on all schools in Ontario to help the community of Attawapiskat. Yet we have seen very little response from the federal government except at this late hour to call for third party management.

There can be no doubt that the responsibility to act on this catastrophe and this failure of infrastructure and the basic needs of the community is the ultimate responsibility of the federal government, specifically that of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, which is one of the principal requirements set out in Standing Order 52(5) for granting an emergency debate.

Mr. Speaker, this issue just cannot wait. Winter has already arrived on the James Bay coast and the families of Attawapiskat are not equipped to deal with the current temperature. We saw many children living in unheated shacks, tents and condemned buildings.

We cannot wait on this issue. Canadians are watching us. Winter has set in. In James Bay yesterday it was -20°. Families are ill-equipped to deal with the plummetting temperatures, which was why we watched Red Cross officials bring in sleeping bags to help with the conditions.

In this Canadian community children are living in unheated sheds. Families are living in makeshift tents and condemned structures. This deplorable state of affairs has caused a national outcry.

It is time for us to look at the situation in Attawapiskat and turn our attention to what we should do as the Parliament of Canada to respond to our Canadian citizens, people who look to the government to protect them and help them in times of emergency.

I thank you in advance, Mr. Speaker, for your consideration on this urgent matter.

Speaker's Ruling
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for his request. I have no doubt that he is approaching this file with a great deal of sincerity. However, I do not feel it meets the test for an emergency debate at this time. I understand that a supply day is imminent. Perhaps the member could use that as a vehicle to raise this issue.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That in relation to Bill C-10, An Act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and one sitting day shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill and, fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government business on the day allotted to the consideration of the report stage and on the day allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, in its history, when the government was in opposition, it was highly critical of time allocation and closure motions and extremely critical of former governments that used this. As of earlier this week, the Conservatives set the all-time record. We had three time allocation motions prior to the summer break. We have now had eight, including the one we have today, bringing the total to eleven motions in a total of 57 sitting days. The Liberals, setting the all-time record prior to this, had nine time allocation motions or closure motions in 122 sitting days. Therefore, the Conservatives have the record.

We have to put this in a position with this bill. The government actually came forward with amendments on Bill C-10 therefore admitting this bill was flawed. How can the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons possibly justify time allocation motions in those circumstances, a flawed bill, and repeated times. The government clearly has done undemocratic process in this Parliament on a regular basis?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Madam Speaker, first, I thank the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. I know he is committed to fighting crime in our country and moving ahead with the agenda that we promised Canadians. I appreciate the efforts he is making to ensure that the debate moves forward and that it comes to a conclusion.

Some of these bills have been around for quite some time. The drug bill, or a component of it, has been around for years. Madam Speaker, you probably remember this. In 2009 the Liberals used to support this bill to get tough on drug traffickers and people who brought drugs into our country and those who wanted to sell drugs around schools. That is how long it has been around.

That being said, these are all very important initiatives. I appreciate it is very bad news for drug dealers and people who molest children. They are going to be very upset that we are moving forward on this. It is too bad for them. If they are in the business of molesting children or drug trafficking, bringing drugs into the country, this bill is bad news for them. However, it is going to come to fruition and it is going to come into law. I appreciate all the support I have received on this side of the House.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I believe I am in a very special position to reply to the government, and to the Minister of Justice in particular, who says that these bills have been around for a long time.

The people of Kingston and the Islands were served by a most notable servant of this House for many years, the Honourable Peter Milliken, who served as Speaker. He performed his role as Speaker very admirably, remained neutral on all sorts of disputes, did not speak in debates and did not sit in committees when these bills that the Minister of Justice refers to were discussed.

When the government says that we have talked about these bills a lot, that they have been in committees and we do not need to talk about them much more, people in Kingston and the Islands beg to differ. The reason is that their representative in the House was not able to participate in the debates, and they deserve a voice.

It is no accident that I have all these petitions to table here in the House of Commons on Bill C-10. The people in Kingston and the Islands are very much interested in expressing their views on Bill C-10. The Minister of Justice will know that Correctional Service Canada has a very large presence in the riding of Kingston and the Islands, and roughly 2,000 people are employed by Correctional Service Canada in the Kingston area.

I believe it is very unjust to the people of Kingston and the Islands for the government to invoke closure yet again on this particular bill--

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order. I will allow each member about a minute and a half in order to give time to all members to speak if they so choose.

The hon. Minister of Justice.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, the hon. member certainly has had an opportunity. This bill has been around in Parliament. We introduced it immediately after coming back into session this fall.

I did point out that the Liberals used to support the bill, but to be fair to the Liberals, they have two positions on every issue. They are for free trade, they are against free trade; they want to be tough on crime, they want to be soft on crime. I appreciate that and I do not want to the cloud the issue.

To be fair to the hon. member, he was not here when his colleagues were cheering us on and allowed us to get that bill passed out of the House of Commons. To put it in context, most of those MPs have been defeated now. Remaining members in the Liberal Party have come up with their own plan.

That said, in some cases these issues have been before the Canadian people for a number of years. We are probably heading towards some kind of a record for the number of speeches and the number of witnesses.

The hon. member should at least get up on his feet. Let us be fair; we want to agree on certain things, but it does not matter: if we had another thousand days of debate, he would still be opposing this bill.

My members all support the bill. Whether it is one day or 100 days, we support this bill, because it is the right thing to do.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Madam Speaker, it is interesting: I listened to the answer that the minister gave to the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh, and instead of talking about what is before the House, which is a guillotine motion, a motion to kill further debate in this House, he responded on substance.

In fact, I would agree with him. He wants to talk about substance; we also want to talk about the substance of the bill. That is precisely the issue that is bringing us to this point here today.

I want to remind the minister of this quote:

We have closure today precisely because there is no deadline and there are no plans. Instead of having deadlines, plans and goals, we must insist on moving forward because the government is simply increasingly embarrassed by the state of the debate and it needs to move on.

Who said that? It was the Prime Minister, who was then Leader of the Opposition, on December 9, 2002.

I would agree with the Prime Minister. As he then said, the government is embarrassed, and it ought to be embarrassed, because in fact the government itself moved six further amendments to the bill. We should be debating the bill, because clearly there are flaws and the government has agreed there are flaws. The bill merits further study.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, that is a bunch of nonsense.

One thing I can say categorically is that all the members of this Conservative government are 100% supportive of our crackdown on drug traffickers and people who molest children. I do not know where the member is getting comments like that, but we are very proud to be associated with this piece of legislation.

I appreciate that the NDP members would like to talk about process and do not want to talk about substance. That was actually a very frank admission on their part, and I do not blame them. When those members go back to British Columbia, it is probably a little hard to start explaining to people that they do not want to crack down on people who bring drugs into this country. Everywhere else in Canada, when people start talking about the problems that children have from adult sexual predators, those members will not want say that they are not going to support tougher measures on that, and they will want to change the topic. The NDP members want to talk about process, and I understand that.

They are completely wrong. I completely disagree with them. I agree with all of my colleagues in the Conservative Party, who are enthusiastically supportive of every measure in this bill.

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3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, over the past weekend, on my way home last Friday, I did an interview with our local paper on Bill C-10. The article came out on Saturday. On Sunday at church I had already had two calls to my house, and very seldom do I ever get a call on an article.

On Sunday after church, a couple I respect very highly took me aside. They do not talk business at church, but the gentleman said “Gary, I'd just like to say thank you so much for standing up for the victims and standing up for people. I think this bill should go through right quickly”. He said he recognized he was doing business after church, but he wanted to thank me for getting this bill through.

With that, I would like to ask the minister if he has had any responses like that?

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3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, it sounds as though the member was doing the right kind of business after church. I congratulate him for that.

Yes, we discuss these issues on a regular basis with victims. When we introduced the bill and the various components of it, I have been very proud to stand with those victims. I indicate to them that they have a friend in the members of this government and that their interests have come to the forefront and are a priority.

We stand with those victims and those law-abiding Canadians who have genuine concerns. We are very proud to stand with them and support their efforts.

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3:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, everyone on this side of the House also wants to see justice for the victims and wants to see that those committing crimes in this country are given the right sentences. However, the only thing I am unable to tell Quebeckers and Canadians is that we are certain that Bill C-10 will have the effect the government is after.

I am unable to say so because ever since Bill C-10 was introduced and ever since my election on May 2, 2011, the government has done nothing but focus on getting everything passed as quickly as possible. There is no time for us to debate. I know what I am talking about. I was in that committee, and we had to fight for hours just to get clause-by-clause consideration of this infamous bill.

Three of these nine acts had never been studied. Witnesses came and went at lightning speed. People came from the Canadian Bar Association and the Barreau du Québec, but we did not get to ask them all our questions. They continue to write to me to decry this problem and it is not—

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3:50 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order. I did say I was going to give roughly a minute and a half to each hon. member to allow everyone who wants to ask questions to do so.

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3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I wish the hon. member would just be absolutely frank. There is no amount of debate and no amount of explanation that would cause the NDP members to change their minds and not oppose every single element of this bill.

They have a record in this particular area. They say they want to support victims; I say they can start supporting victims by supporting legislation like this, the legislation that we have before this Parliament.

However, I hear the same thing from over there. They say they want to do this; well, then, they should just do it. They should start supporting bills like Bill C-10 and legislation that this government has been introducing since 2006. Every one of those bills stands up for victims in this country and is doing the right things to protect Canadians.

The NDP should get on board, just for a change, and mix it up.

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3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, the minister needs to have a reality check.

What we are really debating is that the government has brought in an omnibus bill that could have very easily been eight or nine separate pieces of legislation. Now, today, we have a motion that will restrict debate to two days on this very important piece of legislation that could have been eight or nine bills.

It is not good enough for the minister to say that we are going to vote against it anyway, so we do not need the time to debate it. It is about respecting democracy. It is about respecting the procedures of this House to ensure that new members of this chamber, and others, are afforded the opportunity to hold the government accountable for the types of legislation it is bringing through.

This type of legislation is modeled after the Texas megaprisons. Many would suggest, including myself, that they want to fight to prevent crimes from taking place on our streets and in our communities. The bill will not do that, nor will it have the desired impact that the minister is telling the Canadian public.

Why is the minister trying to limit debate and limit questions on this very important issue?

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3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, we had the greatest debate in the world. It was called the election of 2011.

The Liberals were very clear that they would oppose and fight the Conservatives on our crime agenda. I noticed that the interim leader, just after he got the job, was asked what his priorities were going to be; he named two of them, and one was that the Liberals were going to continue to fight the Conservatives on crime.

I ask the hon. member how that is working out for them down there. Have they noticed anything in the last four elections?

They are consistently all over the place. At times when they thought it was electorally significant or helpful to them, they switched sides. They supported the drug bill, but they are back to where they belong, which is opposing these bills. Somewhere along the line, before they get down to two seats, I think they are going to stop and say, “Just a second; I think we are making a mistake”.

We have been very clear with Canadians. We put this in our election platform for four straight elections. We keep getting a better response and better support from the Canadian people, and I am very grateful for that.

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3:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, a couple of minutes ago the minister opposite misled the House. It is not true that New Democrats did not support every element of this bill; in fact, we stood in the House and moved a motion that would expedite the passing of the part of the bill that would protect children from sexual predators. The minister needs to stand and correct the record.

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3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, we have tried that. We have introduced these bills individually, and we always heard from the NDP that they needed more study and that amendments were needed.

I get told by New Democrats over and over again that they do not support mandatory minimums; well, the entire section with respect to those who molest children has mandatory minimums right across the board. If they suddenly now want to start supporting these things, I would tell them it is a little late. They should get on their feet and start supporting what we are doing right now. They will better protect children that way.

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3:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Madam Speaker, this bill is flawed. All parties know it, including the Conservatives. They actually tried to move some amendments. Those amendments were ruled out of order, but it showed that even the Conservative benches realize there is a need to debate this bill. Instead of taking the time to debate it, they have tried to move closure and time allocation.

I have a quote from the Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, on November 27, 2001—

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

I believe the hon. member will correct her words.

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3:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

I apologize to the minister, Madam Speaker.

What he said was this:

For the government to bring in closure and time allocation is wrong. It sends out the wrong message to the people of Canada. It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid of debate, afraid of discussion and afraid of publicly justifying the steps it has taken.

I would urge the government not to live up to this hypocrisy.

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3:55 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, I want to indicate that I wholeheartedly support the efforts of the Minister of Justice in bringing forward this bill. Many of the provisions contained in the bill are in fact from the public safety portfolio.

The comments I made at that time were perfectly understandable in the context, which was was that there had been no debate, but we have been debating these provisions for years. For four elections we have been very clear on where the government stood on the issue of crime. The NDP and the Liberals opposed our position, but we have made it clear. I am very pleased that this bill is moving ahead in the manner that it is.

I might say in closing that I find it very interesting that when the government does not accept any amendments, it is portrayed as closed-minded, but when it puts amendments forward, it is portrayed as indecisive. Certain amendments were in fact put forward; they were ruled out of order, and I respect the decision of the Speaker. Now it is time to move along with the motion.

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4 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

I see that some members on the government side appear a little frustrated. Just to repeat the words of the Speaker before he left, the purpose of this 30-minute question period is to question the government on its use of time allocation, although members of the government will be recognized, and I will do that appropriately.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue.

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4 p.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, I want to talk about something that happened in my riding last week that was reported on the front page of our local newspaper.

There was a big article on a sexual predator who had been released. He kidnapped someone and abused this person. It was a horrific incident in our community. Right below that was an article on the little protest at my office where a few people showed up with signs protesting against Bill C-10.

Many people called me and said that this fellow was out and he should not have been as he was high risk to reoffend. They said, “Look what he has done to this person in our community”.

I would like to ask the justice minister, why is it important? Why can we not spend the next five to six months debating this legislation? Why do we need to move forward and act now?

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4 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I can answer that. We want to better protect Canadians. This is what it is all about.

With respect to better protecting children, there are two new offences. It would become an offence in Canada for two adults to conspire with each other to lure a child. That closes a gap that existed in our Criminal Code. Also, for the adult who provides explicitly sexual material to a child for the purpose of grooming that child, we would make that an offence. Again, better protecting children is what this party and this government is all about.

Members will remember that we better protect now 14 and 15-year-olds from adult sexual predators. This is all part of our process to better protect children in this country.

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4 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by reminding the House of what former Speaker Fraser said, and I quote:

It is essential to our democratic system [and I would like to emphasize the word “democratic”] that controversial issues [if ever there was a controversial issue, this is one of them] should be debated at reasonable length so that every reasonable opportunity shall be available to hear the arguments pro and con...

I am part of the wave of new members who were not here during the previous Parliament. Believe me, I am not the only greenhorn in this House. I am a spokesperson, a voice if you will, for an entire population that thinks differently than those who voted for the Conservatives. I respect their ideology, but if there is a time and a place for debate and for all Canadians to be heard, it is here in this House.

In addition to being against the Conservative measure, I think we are also facing a clear denial of democracy.

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4 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure how much time the hon. member needs, but if he did not get an opportunity to speak at second reading, then I would urge him to talk to the House leader of the New Democrat Party, its whip, or whoever handles these things, and indicate to them that he would be interested in speaking.

I accommodate, as does the government House leader and our whip, members of our political party who want to speak on these things. Yes, some members have been around for many years, but we are very sensitive to new members. If they wanted to participate in this debate, we have been very accommodating. I think that is very fair. I wish the member well and I hope he gets his request to his party officials.

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4:05 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Madam Speaker, what I just heard is very upsetting and disappointing. There are no words to describe it.

This Conservative government is undemocratic. It could not care less about the opinions of Canadians. Yes, there is the issue of our role as legislators, but it goes beyond the debates in this House. There is also the role of the media. How will they examine bills if a new bill can bury the previous one, which we have not even finished examining? The media, externally, and legislators both have roles to play. This is merely a tactic to prevent us from raising the issues we see in the government's bills. It has to be changed.

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4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, these issues have been with us for quite some time, going back at least four years with the major component of the bill which deals with drug traffickers, the people who bring drugs into this country, the people who like to sell drugs around schoolyards and to children, the people who ship drugs out of this country, and the people who are in the grow op business for the purposes of trafficking.

These issues have been around for four years. I respect the fact that so many of the opposition members oppose that. There are less of them after each election, but nonetheless the ones who are still here oppose that. That certainly is their right. They have the right to stand and complain, and say they oppose them. I understand that. I completely disagree with them and I am very pleased that the Canadian people disagree with them as well.

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4:05 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Madam Speaker, I will begin with a quote:

Also, the government invoked closure to impose the legislation, Bill C-49, and which imposed the tax. These things do not build confidence with Canadians. The government also has a lack of respect for free votes in this place and the treatment of private members' bill. It has a lack of commitment to a democratically elected Senate. It has muzzled politically free speech for their own backbenchers...There are also countless other examples and they do not build the confidence of Canadians.

Who said this? It was the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the quote comes from Hansard.

I ask the minister, why is the government continuing to muzzle Canadians by not allowing debate in the House, not allowing debate at committees, and not allowing for--

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

The hon. Minister of Justice.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, we have encouraged debate. Every time the opposition parties, in the last five years, got together and forced an election on the Government of Canada, we had this discussion. We made it very clear to Canadians this is where we are going. We said if we are given a mandate, we will bring in these measures to get tough against those individuals, such as violent criminals, pedophiles and drug dealers. We will get tough with them. We will continue to keep moving the legislation along.

It is one thing for opposition members to call and force an election, but then they say they do not like what they heard, they want to change that. Well, the Canadian people have spoken loudly and clearly.

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4:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, the debate is far from over. The proof is that many amendments will be presented this evening.

The Bloc Québécois's amendments are directly related to what the Quebec justice minister came to Ottawa to ask for. Canada's Minister of Justice knows very well that, in Quebec, we have developed long-term protection of the public. Everyone supports protection of the public. Everyone supports fair and severe sentences when someone commits a crime. However, the concept of rehabilitation seems to have been completely overlooked by the Conservative government, which did not listen to the Quebec justice minister. I do not understand why, once again, debate in Parliament is being muzzled.

Once again, why can the minister not accept that, in Quebec, we have a vision for the long-term protection of the public, as presented by the Quebec justice minister?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased when I see polls. The Leger marketing poll said that over 70% of Quebeckers are supportive of our crime agenda. I am very appreciative of that and I listen to my provincial counterparts very clearly. Indeed, one of the amendments that is contained within the bill is wording that was suggested to us by the minister of justice for Quebec. Indeed, I was very pleased with previous attorneys general from Quebec for their contributions with respect to a wide range of bills.

Again, these bills have been before Parliament and the Canadian public has spoken very clearly. The bill will better protect children, law-abiding Canadians, and give a greater voice to victims. This is a good piece of legislation. Canada will be better off for it.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

All those opposed please say nay.

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4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
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4:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

In my opinion, the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #80

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings in the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso, Employment Insurance; the hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Ethics; the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, Canada Revenue Agency.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Today at 4:00, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was to come and defend his estimates before the transport committee. Because of this closure motion, the chair of the transport committee, without any consultation with other members of Parliament, cancelled the meeting.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, the estimates have to come back to the House of Commons some time next week for a final decision. As a result, the transport committee may not have a chance to have the minister come and defend his estimates. I ask that you assist us to find some way, perhaps by working with the chair of the standing committee, to ensure that the estimates appear before the transport committee and that we do have a chance to ask theMinister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities some questions.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I made the decision simply because we knew the vote was coming, and the time was not determined prior to the meeting. I have made a request to the minister's office to appear before the committee. I am waiting to hear back from the department.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
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4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I am sure the committee will be able to sort this out.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. I will just ask all hon. colleagues who may wish to carry on conversations to do so outside the chamber so that the House can continue on with debate.

The hon. member for Halifax has six minutes left.

Report Stage
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4:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last night when I was speaking to this bill, I was trying to make the links between our spending on the War of 1812 at a time when freed slaves came to Canada and formed our African Nova Scotian population, and an omnibus crime bill that is going to send more people to prisons when—

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

I would like to ask the House for a little order, please. I would ask members to take their conversations to the lobbies. Order, please.

The hon. member for Halifax.

Report Stage
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4:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, the links between the War of 1812 and freed slaves coming to Canada is the fact that we have an omnibus crime bill that will send more people to prison, where African Nova Scotians and African Canadians are already disproportionately represented.

I want an omnibus crime bill that is full of measures that actually combat crime. How about an omnibus bill that is full of reforms for education, housing, training programs and real justice reforms?

As I mentioned, last night when I was at the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church, El Jones read a poem that sort of got these ideas in my head. I thought I would never be able to say it better than El Jones, so I would like to read into the record an excerpt from the poem she read at that service. I would never try to appropriate her voice, but I want to share her words with my colleagues in the House. The excerpt is as follows:

It wasn't that he was special
There is nothing detectable in his origins
That make him better than anyone present
The lesson is that we should be skeptical when they tell us
That we were not born to be successful
Born of a hardworking shoemaker and a mama who was respectable
His life seems a familiar spectacle
Began his education just down on Maynard Street in 1882
Which goes to show the youth that there is nothing they can't do
Look at the life of this man who was just like you.
And lord knows how hard we have to struggle
We're still getting half as much and having to work double
James Robinson Johnston had all the same troubles.
He wasn't the first black to go to Dalhousie but he was the first to finish
And I don't know but I can imagine that he could have won a Guinness world record
For all the racism he endured but he refused to be diminished.
And we're still living with the same issues impeding our progress
Still the only black faces still not enough black professors
Still feeling like temporary guests and being questioned about our presence
Because just this September I heard a black student say
This place just isn't welcome for us. Imagine more than a century before us
No black student center, no blacks on campus to act as his mentor
At a time when achieving even an elementary education was eventful
It's amazing to me that anyone entered and not only did he come back semester after semester
He ended up in law school. This ancestor did not allow himself to be rejected.
Look at our people so often neglected
And said let me represent them.
And it was bigger than just securing his own status
In our fight for acceptance he took us all up the ladder
Because now no-one could say they just don't have the talent
Saw a need in our communities and jumped into the battle
And this brother was doing it in English and Latin
So don't let them ever tell you that the same dreams can't happen.
And I wouldn't be surprised if they spat in his face
But James Robinson Johnston remained on the case
And he never forgot the community in his practice.
So many of our leaders turn their backs and try to fatten their wallets
He fought for the people who no-one thought mattered.
[...]
And maybe it was tough to be happy struggling so hard to succeed
And it can't have been easy always being the token only
Who knows of the pressures that must have left him lonely.
But history teaches us that in the present we learn from back then
When the biggest cause of death for young black men is from other black men
And so the lesson I take from his life is something essential
No matter what your condition you have so much potential
Remember so many black men who die how he died
Could have lived the same credentials
So let's stop being content with being told we belong in the basement
Our life is not defined by some predestination
In fact James Robinson Johnston show us that it's full of surprises
So we need to keep fighting for programs that build on his foundations
Like the Transition Year Program that guides us to university education
So let's commit to expanding its classes so more can participate
And let's not rest until we have a zero per cent drop out rate
And let's create the IB&M program in every school across the nation
Because we need black lawyers and judges to advocate for us
Reforming the courts where we are disproportionately jailed
And let's not rest on our laurels until we've fought against all discrimination
Let's make sure we have black students graduating in force from every university
And that they feel supported
And let's see us excelling in more than music and sports
So let's start fundraising for black studies courses
So our youth can learn about people like James Robinson Johnston
People like them whose histories deserve to be explored
And let's export that knowledge to every elementary, junior high and high school
Until our youth's pride in themselves is restored
Let's have black teachers and professors and black members of the school board
And let's educate the first black mayor and the first black prime minister
Could be from right here.
And let's stop pretending we can't afford to fund black organizations
Or reading programs or housing or daycares
With money from black taxpayers
Let's stop debating whether our needs are important
Because more than a century ago James Robinson Johnston taught us
That when we fight for ourselves our future lies before us
And so let's celebrate his life by moving his legacy forward
James Robinson Johnston, thank you for being there for us.

It is time to do what we know will actually prevent crime. Let us not lead just by locking our citizens up.

Report Stage
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Government Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, I applaud my hon. colleague for an excellent speech.

The racialization of poverty in the country is atrocious. In communities in Toronto, the African Canadian communities are very concerned about Bill C-10 and what it will do to their communities. They are crying out for attention to issues of job creation, job training, education and opportunities like that.

Could my hon. colleague speak to why the government is refusing to listen to the overwhelming body of evidence that its plan will not reduce crime?

Report Stage
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5 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, the government is not interested in evidence. If we look at Nova Scotia, my province, African Nova Scotians make up 4% of the population. They make up 8% of the poor population. That is double.

The Mi'kmaq, our first nations Canadians in Nova Scotia, make up 2% of the population, but they make up 4% of the poor population. Again, that is double.

When we go into the prisons in Nova Scotia, I can tell members who they will see there. It is our first nations citizens and African Nova Scotians. It is the people who come from poverty and who live in communities with so many social problems.

Instead of actually trying to address those social problems and prevent crime from happening, we are just locking people up. That is not the solution by any stretch of the imagination.

Time and time again we have experts who come in and say, “That is not the way to do it”. They are ignored because the government is not interested in evidence. It is just interested in a crime and punishment agenda.

Report Stage
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5 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I have another example of how every time we try to increase punishments we end up disproportionately punishing disadvantaged groups in society.

For example, if we look at what has happened in the last couple of years when we got rid of the two for one credit for time spent in remand, this disproportionately affected aboriginal people. If we look at the last couple of years, the average sentence lengths for aboriginal people have increased from about 1,200 to 1,280, whereas the average sentence lengths for everyone else have not changed much at all.

That is an example of where a change in the law to increase the length of prison sentences has tended to disproportionately affect disadvantage groups. Aboriginal prisoners get longer sentences now compared to a couple of years ago. That is not true of everybody else. Therefore, they are being discriminated against.

Report Stage
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Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, I completely agree with the member. This is about racialization and poverty. This is about criminalization of race.

I had the opportunity at home to visit a youth program for young people who were in conflict with the law. A number of youth that were in the room came from racialized communities.

There was a young man who said to me, “You know, growing up my uncle sold rock on the corner and my friends did and my dad did, and that is all I have ever known, so what will I do when I become an adult? That's what I did. I sold rock on the corner”. He said, “I didn't know that I could get a job, that I could build a resume, that I could apply. I didn't have the skills”.

He was in this program and he looked me in the eye and said, “If there were more programs like this for people like me when I needed them, I wouldn't have gone to jail because I would have gotten a legit job so that I could support my girlfriend and my daughter”. He said that. This is a young man who was in one of these programs who said, “I didn't know what to do other than sell drugs”.

It is not rocket science to figure out how to solve a problem like that.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to join the debate today on Bill C-10.

Canada's immigration system plays an important role in meeting the needs of our economy. That is because immigrants bring with them the skills that our economy needs.

The temporary foreign worker program helps employers fill short-term needs when suitable Canadian candidates are not available. A common misconception is that temporary workers are only hired to fill low skilled positions. However, if we look closely at the numbers, we find that the majority enter the workforce in professional, managerial or trade occupations.

In 2010 more than 67,500 temporary foreign workers were issued work permits.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. member for Nanaimo--Cowichan is rising on a point of order.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, I just want to clarify. We are talking about Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill, are we not?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

We are indeed debating Bill C-10. I am sure the hon. member for Kildonan--St. Paul will come to her point.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, indeed, we are talking about Bill C-10, and we are talking about the temporary foreign worker program around Bill C-10.

In 2010 more than 67,500 temporary foreign workers were issued work permits for high skilled occupations. Among these, more than 21,000 work permits were issued to workers under international agreements, such as the North American free trade agreement. With regard to lower skilled occupations, just over 50,600, just over one-quarter, were admitted to fill vacancies in positions which included live-in caregivers and seasonal agricultural workers.

Given the diversity of fields for which temporary foreign workers are hired, their importance to the Canadian economy cannot be overstated. We know that many workers take great risks in leaving their homes to travel to Canada to work, and for that they should be rewarded, not punished.

Some temporary foreign workers may have weak language skills and very little money. They may have no family or friends in Canada. They may also fear the police and government. With no one to turn to, this can make them more vulnerable to abuse than other workers.

For those people who are applying to enter our country as temporary foreign workers, Canada represents a new start, but some of these workers' hopes for a new future are extinguished by those who seek to manipulate their vulnerable situation.

Canadians gave us a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe by getting tough on crime. This includes preventing crime and exploitation of vulnerable people, both locally and nationally. We made a campaign commitment and we are ready to honour that commitment.

Unfortunately, the opposition does not feel the same way. I guess that is why I was just interrupted. Instead, it has chosen to delay this bill and delay the protection of vulnerable people at home and abroad. The opposition should stop its shameful delay of this bill and help our government prevent human smuggling and the exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers. That is where Bill C-10 comes in.

By introducing the safe streets and communities act, our government is sending a clear message that we will not let the valuable be exploited. That is why we have introduced changes to ensure that the temporary foreign worker program continues to meet short-term labour shortages while strengthening protections for these workers.

Employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, are now assessed against compliance with program requirements before authorization to hire them can be granted. What this means is that employers found to have violated workers' rights will be refused authorization. There was a clear need for clear regulations to better protect workers from poor treatment by employers who would mistreat them.

Bill C-10 will help us to further protect vulnerable foreign workers. That is because this legislation grants immigration officers the authority to deny work permits to those who are at risk of humiliating and degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation. For example, while exotic dancing is a legal occupation in Canada, there are reports linking the exotic dancing industry with abuse and exploitation of its employees.

As the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has said, there is a lot of evidence that many exotic dancers being brought in to work on temporary work permits are being managed by organized crime. These women are then exploited through coerced activity in the sex trade. The ability to deny work permits to vulnerable workers would enable the government to protect applicants by keeping them out of these types of situations.

Instructions would potentially address not only high risk work settings, but also characteristics that would make foreign workers particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. For example, the minister might be aware of evidence suggesting that massage parlours are settings of high risk for the sexual exploitation of workers. At the same time, other characteristics might make some workers more vulnerable than others. Women workers might be at more risk than men. Also evidence might demonstrate that registered massage therapists are less likely to be victimized than those with no qualifications.

The instructions would not target specific work permit applicants directly, rather they would apply to applicants of a particular occupation or a group of applicants who can be identified as vulnerable to abuse or exploitation. As I said, ministerial instructions would be based on objective evidence that clearly outlined an identified risk of abuse or exploitation. Ministerial instructions would also be published in the annual report to Parliament and in the Canada Gazette.

Given these parameters, it is very clear that these amendments stand on the principles of openness and accountability.

I want to assure the House that the legislation includes many checks and balances to ensure that the ministerial instructions are applied objectively. Immigration officers would need to apply the instructions issued by the minister on a case-by-case basis and each application for a work permit would be assessed on its own merits. Any decision to refuse a permit would need to be supported by evidence that showed a risk of humiliating or degrading treatment. Also, any decision by an immigration officer to refuse a work permit in Canada would require the concurrence of a second immigration officer. Should individuals be refused, it would be possible that they would be granted a work permit if they applied to come to Canada to work in another occupation or a different situation that would not pose the same risk.

Without these amendments, Citizenship and Immigration Canada would have no discretionary authority to deny a work permit to someone who met all the requirements to enter Canada, even if the immigration officers believed there was a strong possibility of exploitation and abuse. It would be highly irresponsible for the Conservative government to continue to admit temporary foreign workers to work in such abusive situations.

As the government, it is our responsibility to ensure that people who come to Canada can pursue their new lives without fear for their safety. Bill C-10 would help us protect vulnerable foreign workers so they could achieve their dream of a new future. That is why, in the beginning of my speech, I had to go over the premise of foreign workers and why it was so important to protect these most vulnerable people, especially when they would be in professions or situations that could lead to very strong exploitation, especially, sexual exploitation and forced labour.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, I appreciated the speech of the member opposite.

Certainly, everyone is against the exploitation of foreign workers; however, the problem with the bill as it stands is that many of its provisions are too vague and leave a lot of things to the discretion of officers. This is what experts from both the Canadian Bar Association and the Barreau du Québec have said. A review of the officer's decision is then conducted by another officer. We, on this side of the House, in our great wisdom, proposed that the review be conducted by an arbitrator or someone who is more independent than a person working in the same unit. And I am not even mentioning the broad discretionary authority given to the minister.

I would like the hon. member to try to reassure us because, given that the Conservatives have rejected all the amendments, we are left with a bit of a bad taste in our mouths; it seems that the provisions, as they now stand, will not resolve the problem.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, rest assured Bill C-10 and the foreign worker piece would address an issue that is really hitting our country hard. At the present time, workers at the border, the border people, when they know someone is vulnerable, have no tools to use to prevent these people from coming in and being exploited. They are highly trained. It is not done very quickly. It is done very carefully, with two of the officers in consultation to make this happen. Therefore, this will protect our vulnerable workers.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the Conservative member for her speech.

I am particularly touched by the fact that she is concerned about the exploitation of workers. Since I have over 10 years of experience working in human rights and the union movement, the topics of abuse and harsh treatment by employers worry me and worry the entire NDP caucus. We are very sensitive to these issues.

This also highlights one of the problems with the omnibus Bill C-10. This omnibus bill has become a sort of an indigestible mess, because it tries to address too many issues and topics that are not at all related. We are forced to take it all and swallow it whole. That is one of our problems with this bill.

I would like my colleague to explain why the Conservatives are saying that we need more prisons, when it has no studies to support this claim and when serious crime is on the decline.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, in actual fact the legislation has been debated but not passed in previous sessions of Parliament. To reassure the member opposite, this piece was first introduced on May 16, 2007. It was tabled a second time on November 1, 2007, a third time on June 17, 2009, and a fourth time on November 19, 2010.

It is time that these bills are put together to get them through Parliament to protect not only vulnerable workers, but to ensure our Canadian citizens are safe.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Prince George—Peace River, BC

Madam Speaker, we have heard the opposition complain about us using time allocation for this argument. My colleague mentioned the urgency with which this needs to happen to help those people about whom she is concerned.

Could she explain why we want to get the bill through as soon as possible?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, the pieces of Bill C-10 have been debated over and over again in the House. The difference is everything has been put together in one bill. It is very urgent. Why? Because our Canadian citizens need to be protected. Not only that, but we have a responsibility for those coming across our borders from other countries. It is our responsibility to ensure people coming through our borders are safe. That is why the piece for our vulnerable workers is in the bill.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Madam Speaker, once again it is a privilege to rise to speak to this critical legislation before the House. I would say it is a pleasure, but considering the contents of the bill and what I think it will do not only to our country but to our community safety in Canada, I cannot, in all conscience, say that.

I will start by addressing the procedure by which the bill is being introduced in the House.

I have heard members on the opposite side continually try to justify ramming through the legislation. For Canadians watching, they should know that this is an omnibus bill. The government has packaged together nine separate pieces of legislation and thrown it into one bill before the House. As if that is not enough, the government has imposed limits on the ability of Parliament to examine the bills in detail by bringing in closure, which limits debate.

The members of the government have tried to justify this by saying that this has been debated in previous Parliaments. I will pause for a moment to say how fundamentally undemocratic that position is.

Each election Canadians go to the polls to elect a different Parliament. Many members in the House were not present in the previous Parliament. Citizens in their ridings elected members to come to the House because they were trusted to come here and examine the legislation, debate it, understand it and propose amendments.

For the government to deny those members that right, and by extension, to reject the choice of those Canadians who democratically chose those people to come here on their behalf is a fundamental rejection of the rights of Canadians to send a representative of their choice to Parliament. Those Canadians do not care what someone in a previous Parliament has said. Many of those members were defeated. Canadians care what current members in the House have to say about the legislation. The position of the government is fundamentally undemocratic.

I also want to point out what a turnaround this is from the old approach of the Conservatives on the invocation of closure. Through our research, we found dozens of references by the Prime Minister when he was in opposition on the use of closure by government, which he opposed.

This is what the former minister of public safety, Stockwell Day, said in the House:

A columnist wrote something interesting today. He wrote that in his view the decision to invoke closure on the bill represented in some ways the death of the true meaning of parliament. Parliament is the ability to gather together as elected representatives to talk, discuss, debate and hopefully do things that can enrich the lives and in this case the safety and security of Canadians. The federal Liberal government has failed Canadians.

Yet today the Conservatives stand in the House and say, “That's okay, we can ram through a bill that's going to fundamentally change our country and we don't need to debate it”. That is fundamentally wrong.

On the bill itself, our Parliament is poised to reshape Canada's criminal justice system in significant ways and, I would submit, Canada itself. With the omnibus so-called tough on criminals bill, we have a representation of the biggest change to our justice system in recent memory about to be undertaken and, once again, with very little debate.

I think we are all anticipating and participating in a watershed moment in Canadian history, and this matters. It matters for our safety and it matters for the kind of country we want Canada to be.

Surely one key test of a society is how we treat the most vulnerable and, even more important, sometimes how we treat the most despised. Justice policies offer a glimpse into the soul of a nation.

Without exception, I believe those of us who are charged with policy and practice care deeply about victims and their families. We want to prevent crime when we can, but we want to reduce the economic and human costs when we cannot.

I submit that policies and practices should be guided by the following three imperatives.

The first is public safety. In other words, what does the evidence tell us about what works to make our homes and streets safe?

The second is freedom. How do we ensure a measured response that protects our civil liberties, constrains the state and holds it accountable when our freedom is at stake?

Last is justice. What is a just, proportionate and humane punishment when a citizen is found guilty of a crime? Of course the system must adapt to changing times and new knowledge, but rates of crime and violence have been falling for about three decades. That does not permit complacency, nor does it suggest the need for a fundamental change of direction.

I want to put some facts before the House. The police reported crime rate, which measures the overall volume of crime in this country, continued its long-term downward trend in 2010, declining 5% from 2009. At the same time, the crime severity index, which measures the severity of crime, fell 6%. The national crime rate has been falling steadily for the past 20 years and it is now at its lowest level since 1973.

In 2010 police reported 7,200 fewer violent incidents than in the previous year. Theft under $5,000, mischief and break-ins, relatively minor crimes, accounted for close to two-thirds of the almost $1.7 million non-violent offences.

Alberta and British Columbia, the province that I hail from, reported the largest declines in crime in 2010. It fell 6% in both provinces. The crime severity index decreased by 8% in Alberta and 7% in British Columbia.

Police reported that nearly 153,000 youth 12 to 17 years of age were accused of a crime in 2010. That is 15,000 fewer than in the previous year. The youth crime rate, which measures the overall volume of crime committed by youth, declined by 7%.

We know that aboriginals are historically and disproportionately represented in our federal prisons, particularly aboriginal women. We know that 80% of offenders in our federal system right now suffer from an addiction. We know that mental illness is at alarming proportions in our federal prisons. People who are brain damaged, suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, low cognition, poorly educated, the addicted, the mentally ill of every single type, are populating our prisons.

I said this in my last speech and I will say it here today. I have done something that I dare say 95% of members in the House have not done. I have walked through the doors of 25 federal institutions in this country. I have talked to correctional officers, to wardens, to prison psychologists and to inmates. I have sat across the table from people doing life sentences. I have canvassed a cross-section of people who actually know what they are talking about in the prison system in this country. I have seen what kind of services are, and most importantly, what kind of services are not offered in our federal system.

I can tell members that this bill puts together an approach to crime that not only is expensive, that not only will cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars, but it will not make a single iota of difference in terms of making our communities safer. The reason I say that is that it misses the mark.

Of course there are people who commit crimes and have to be locked away to protect the public. Of course there are some people in federal institutions who have to be locked up for their natural lives. However, the vast majority of people in our federal institutions are people who will be coming out. Over 90% of people in federal prisons today are going to come out.

What we need to do if we are truly interested in making sound policy in this country instead of playing to what I will call in a few minutes, junk politics, is to be making sure that we have adequate alcohol and drug treatment programs in prison, and we do not now. We need to make sure that we have vocational and occupational programs in our prisons, and we do not now. We need to make sure that we have adequate psychological, nursing and occupational therapy services in our prisons to deal with the real problems that our offenders are facing in prison, and we do not now.

The sum total of the bill is based on a concept that if we lock up more Canadians for longer periods of time in harsher conditions, it would make our country safer. I have stood in the House three times and challenged Conservative members opposite. I told them they have the resources of the Department of Justice and Public Safety Canada, that surely they have studied this issue.

Every society in the world suffers from crime. We have hundreds of examples to choose from. If we asked the Conservatives to name one country where this approach to crime has achieved a noticeable drop in crime, they would not be able to come up with one example.

Before we embark on a policy of spending billions of dollars, let us make sure that we can spend taxpayer dollars wisely and make sure it will actually make us safer. The bill does not do that.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I believe that if you seek it you will find there is unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, at the conclusion of the debate at report stage, Bill C-10, An Act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts, Motions Nos. 1, 5, 35, 41, 51, 53, 62, 64 and 78 be deemed put and recorded divisions be deemed requested and deferred pursuant to Standing Order 76.1(8).

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Is there unanimous consent of the House for the chief government whip to move the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

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

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

(Motion agreed to)

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's remarks. He is from British Columbia, as I am.

He remarked about crime steadily falling and he mentioned statistics to show how crime is steadily falling. I would like to draw to his attention the remarks from the Vancouver Board of Trade which, just a couple of years ago, said that crime was out of control in Vancouver. In fact just a couple of years ago Vancouver had more murders than Toronto did in the first quarter of the year.

When we are talking about the statistics, going back to a 2004 survey by Statistics Canada involving 24,000 Canadians, which is quite a pile, only 8% of sexual assaults, 29% of thefts and 54% of break-ins were reported. Overall, only a third of victims reported to police. Let us update that. In September 2010, there were 20,000 grow ops in homes just in the Lower Mainland of B.C., and thousands more in the countryside. Only 31% of victims overall said they reported the crimes. Overall, 71% of property crimes were not reported.

We have made it so difficult for police to report on these things and the consequences have been so minimal in the past that people have not bothered to report the crimes. What is with that?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, that brings up an oft-repeated theme I hear from the government side that yes, the statistics have been dropping for 25 years, but what about unreported crimes. The statistics on unreported crimes would say the same thing. There is no evidence to suggest that unreported crime has gone up in any significant manner.

My friend raised the issue of grow ops. Is there anything in the legislation before us that would actually do anything positive in terms of drug policy in this country? I would argue that it does not.

California has its ”three strikes and you are out” policy. Mandatory minimum sentences have been used in California. The jails in California are stuffed mainly with people who have been convicted of drug offences. Has it made Californians safer? Has it decreased drug use in California? If my friend actually used an evidence-based system, he would look at those statistics and find out that it has not.

Adopting that same policy of having mandatory minimum sentences and locking up people for drug offences longer simply will not have any beneficial effect on the problem that he says he cares about.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one of the concerns that we in the Liberal Party have expressed is that we want as much as possible to prevent crimes from taking place.

I appreciate the member's comments. I would be interested in hearing what he might have to say in regard to issues such as community policing and investing in resources at local community clubs.

Does he believe that will have more of an impact, as I believe and the Liberal Party believes, on preventing crime from taking place if we put our investments in that as opposed to the mega-jails proposed by the government?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is right. Ironically, increasing incarceration costs lots of money. Imprisonment is expensive. That means there would be less money for those things that might make us truly safer, such as prevention, education and rehabilitation.

In many respects the dollars we spend on social policy are non-discretionary. The question is in what proportion are we going to allocate those dollars. There is nothing in this bill, the nine bills that are wrapped together, that would add one drug treatment counsellor, one nurse, or one occupational trainer to our prisons. I would argue that it is investing in those issues or investing in police. There is nothing in this bill that would put a single police officer on the street. I agree with my friend that they are very effectively employed in our communities. I have heard the Minister of Public Safety say, “If we put on more police and they arrest people, where are we going to put them?”

Having police on the beat in our communities is effective. It has a deterrent effect. When people see a police presence in their communities, it becomes less likely that kids or someone hanging around who might be considering breaking into a garage would do so. Actually delivering on the promise to add more police officers, as the NDP has called for in two successive elections and on which the government has not delivered, is a far more prudent and effective way to make our communities safer.

I am sorry to say that Bill C-10 would not add a single police officer in our country. Instead, we would spend billions of dollars on prisons. I would rather spend more money on prosecutors, judges and police and actually prevent the crime from happening in the first place.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Before I recognize the member for Scarborough Centre, I need to tell her that I will need to interrupt her at 15 minutes to the hour as this is the time allocated under government orders for the day.

The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to support Bill C-10.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, I will focus my remarks on the section of the bill that amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in order to prevent human trafficking and to curtail the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers.

These measures will improve upon an immigration system that is already the envy of the world and one that is vital to Canada's future. Before I speak about the particular measures in Bill C-10, it is important to specify exactly what I mean by that.

The benefits of immigration are undeniable and immense. This country was built by immigrants. Indeed, a great many of us serving this House are either immigrants ourselves or the children or grandchildren of immigrants.

For people the world over, Canada represents a great beacon of hope. Last year, Ipsos conducted a global poll of OECD countries and found that about two billion people in those countries alone said they would like to come to our country, Canada.

Those who come to Canada from other places, either permanently as immigrants or for a set period of time as temporary workers, bring their unique skills and talents to our shores. They enrich and strengthen our local communities, our social fabric and the economic development of our great country.

Because an effective and strong immigration system is central to a strong economy, the government has taken measures in recent years to ensure that our immigration system responds to Canada's labour market needs. Those measures have been undeniably quite successful.

In the last five years, Canada has seen the highest sustained level of immigration in nearly a century. Most of that increase has come from skilled economic immigrants and their families.

Canadians understand how important it is for our economic well-being to continue to bring newcomers into this country. They also understand that another great economic benefit to Canada comes from bringing in temporary foreign workers with skills that fill important requirements in our labour market. To manage this, Canadians want an immigration system that conforms to our shared democratic values, an open and generous system, governed by the rule of law, that treats all potential immigrants and temporary foreign workers with equality and fairness.

Of course, along with the benefits to Canada of such an open system comes a responsibility to protect against the abuse and exploitation of that system. Each additional day that the opposition delays this bill is yet another day in which people may be smuggled to Canada and exploited and abused, and there is nothing that we as Canadians can do about it. Canada's immigration officials, from front-line visa officers to those tasked with making high-level decisions about potential newcomers to the country, need to have the proper tools both to safeguard the system from misuse and to protect vulnerable persons from exploitation.

In some cases the existing laws give officials the tools they need to carry out these specific duties. For example, we already have the legal ability to stop people with a prior criminal conviction from entering Canada. In other cases, loopholes still exist, allowing those with nefarious aims to exploit both the immigration system itself and also vulnerable people from other countries who wish to work in Canada.

Bill C-10 will supplement current legislative provisions by plugging that existing hole in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a hole that currently puts vulnerable people at risk.

This was a campaign commitment in the most recent election, and our government is following through with our commitments. Canadians gave us a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe by getting tough on crime; this includes preventing crime and exploitation of vulnerable people both in Canada and abroad.

Measures in this bill will give the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism the discretionary authority to use ministerial instructions to deny work permits to those temporary workers who are most susceptible to abuse or exploitation once they arrive in Canada.

What kinds of abuse and exploitation would these measures address? They include a great variety, ranging from the sexual exploitation of individuals trying to enter Canada to work in the adult entertainment business as exotic dancers through temporary workers at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking to low-skilled labourers vulnerable to humiliating and degrading treatment by their abusive employers.

There are many potential scenarios in which the measures included in this particular section of Bill C-10 would protect individuals who might otherwise face abuse and exploitation upon their arrival here in Canada.

What current provisions do not allow for is the refusal of work permits to people who may not face any obstacles under the current immigration laws but whose situation would make them more vulnerable to future abuse or exploitation. Bill C-10 would rectify this problem.

The amendments proposed in the bill would allow for a systematic process based on dispassionate evidence, transparent regulations and clear public policy objectives in making any decision about who would be refused entry to Canada because of potential abuse and exploitation.

Additionally, it is important to underline that Canada's immigration officers are among the most capable, professional and highly trained in the world. They are very skilled at recognizing applicants who are at risk. It does not make any sense to curb their ability to protect vulnerable applicants from potentially abusive situations, but unless we pass the measures proposed in Bill C-10 into law, we are doing just that.

By introducing the safe streets and communities act, which includes these important provisions, we are keeping yet another one of our campaign commitments. Canadians know that our Conservative government keeps its commitments. By delaying the bill, the opposition is proving yet again that it is totally out of touch with the priorities of regular Canadians.

It is my sincere hope that having contemplated all of the benefits that I have outlined--benefits both to our internationally acclaimed immigration system and also to vulnerable individuals from around the world--hon. members on both sides of the House will see fit to support Bill C-10.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

It being 5:45 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the report stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on Motion No. 2. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
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5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

The recorded division on Motion No. 2 stands deferred.

I shall now propose Motions No. 20 to 36, 38, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 51, 86 and 87 in Group No. 2 to the House.

Could I inquire of the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands as to who might be the seconder on this particular group?

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Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the seconder is the hon. member for Winnipeg North.

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Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Thank you.

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5:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

,

seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North, moved:

Motion No. 20

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 11.

Motion No. 21

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 12.

Motion No. 22

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 13.

Motion No. 23

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 14.

Motion No. 24

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 15.

Motion No. 25

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 17.

Motion No. 26

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 19.

Motion No. 27

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 20.

Motion No. 28

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 21.

Motion No. 29

That Bill C-10, in Clause 22, be amended by deleting lines 16 to 28 on page 14.

Motion No. 30

That Bill C-10, in Clause 23, be amended by deleting lines 14 to 24 on page 15.

Motion No. 31

That Bill C-10, in Clause 23, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 29 on page 16.

Motion No. 32

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 25.

Motion No. 33

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 26.

Motion No. 34

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 27.

Motion No. 51

That Bill C-10, in Clause 42, be amended by replacing lines 3 to 8 on page 26 with the following:

“(a) the offender, before entering a plea, was notified of the possible imposition of a minimum punishment for the offence in question and of the Attorney General's intention to prove any factors in relation to the offence that would lead to the imposition of a minimum punishment;

and (b) there are no exceptional circumstances related to the offender or the offence in question that justify imposing a shorter term of imprisonment than the mandatory minimum established for that offence.”

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NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

moved:

Motion No. 41

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 39.

Motion No. 43

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 40.

Motion No. 45

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 41.

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Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

seconded by the member for Winnipeg North moved:

Motion No. 47

That Bill C-10, in Clause 41, be amended by deleting line 38 on page 24 to line 3 on page 25.

Motion No. 86

That Bill C-10 be amended by adding after line 9 on page 102 the following new clause:

“PART 6

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6 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the member for Winnipeg North, moved:

Motion No. 36

That Bill C-10, in Clause 34, be amended by replacing line 21 on page 19 with the following:

“742.3, if it is determined that the offender belongs to a specific population or group whose socio-economic or cultural marginalization has resulted in an overrepresentation within the Canadian prison population, including Aboriginal peoples and those with mental health disabilities, or if”

Motion No. 38

That Bill C-10, in Clause 34, be amended by replacing line 1 on page 20 with the following:

“(ii) involved, for financial gain, the import, export, trafficking”

Motion No. 39

That Bill C-10, in Clause 34, be amended by replacing line 3 on page 20 with the following:

“(iii) involved the use of a potentially deadly weapon with intent to do bodily harm in connection with the offence; and”

Motion No. 87

That Bill C-10 be amended by adding after line 9 on page 102 the following new clause:

“PART 6

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6 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

moved:

Motion No. 35

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 34.

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Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Pursuant to order made earlier today, the recorded divisions on Motions Nos. 35, 41 and 51 are deemed demanded and deferred.

Now we will proceed to put the question on Motion No. 20. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 20 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 21. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 21 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 22. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 22 negatived)

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6 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we should approach it differently. Are you certain, in your opinion?

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Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I feel sure that, even though I omitted one of the steps in the voice vote, in fact the House has decided and the motion is defeated.

The next question is on Motion No. 23. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 23 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 24. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 24 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 25. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 25 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 26. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 26 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 27. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 27 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 28. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 28 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 29. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 29 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 30. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion, the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 30 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The next question is on Motion No. 31. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 31 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The next question is on Motion No. 32. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 32 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The next question is on Motion No. 33. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 33 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The next question is on Motion No. 34. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 34 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. For clarification, what happened with Motion No. 35?

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The question on Motion No. 35 was deemed put.

The next question is on Motion No. 43. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 45. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

The next question is on Motion No. 86. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 86 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The next question is on Motion No. 87. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 87 negatived)

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6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 65 to 69 in Group No. 3 to the House.

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6:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the member for Winnipeg North, moved:

Motion No. 65

That Bill C-10, in Clause 136, be amended by replacing line 14 on page 74 with the following:

“shall consider the following factors:”

Motion No. 66

That Bill C-10, in Clause 136, be amended by replacing lines 15 to 17 on page 74 with the following:

“(a) whether, based on evidence and expert opinion pertaining to the offender, the Minister determines that the offender's return to Canada would constitute a threat to the security of Canada;”

Motion No. 67

That Bill C-10, in Clause 136, be amended by replacing lines 18 and 19 on page 74 with the following:

“(b) whether, based on evidence and expert opinion, the Minister determines that the offender's return to Canada to serve their sentence would endanger”

Motion No. 68

That Bill C-10, in Clause 136, be amended by deleting lines 8 to 10 on page 75.

Motion No. 69

That Bill C-10, in Clause 136, be amended by replacing line 21 on page 75 with the following:

“enforcement agency, except if the relevant local law enforcement agencies are known or suspected to be complicit in torture or any other form of human rights violation; or”

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

moved:

Motion No. 53

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 54.

Motion No. 62

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 108.

Motion No. 64

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 136.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Pursuant to an order made earlier today the recorded divisions on Motions Nos. 53, 62 and 64 are deemed demanded and deferred.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 70, 71, 73, 76 to 78, 80, 81 in Group No. 4 to the House.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North, moved:

Motion No. 70

That Bill C-10, in Clause 167, be amended by replacing line 24 on page 87 with the following:

“(b) an attempt to commit an”

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

moved:

Motion No. 71

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 168.

Motion No. 78

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 183.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North, moved:

Motion No. 73

That Bill C-10, in Clause 168, be amended by replacing line 33 on page 87 with the following:

“intended to promote the long-term protection of the public by”

Motion No. 76

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 172.

Motion No. 77

That Bill C-10, in Clause 176, be amended by deleting line 22 on page 91 to line 12 on page 92.

Motion No. 80

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 185.

Motion No. 81

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 190.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I shall now put the question on the motions in Group No. 4.

The question is on Motion No. 70. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

(Motion No. 70 negatived)

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

The question is on Motion No. 71. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

The question is on Motion No. 76. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 76 negatived)

The question is on Motion No. 77. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

The question is on Motion No. 78. Pursuant to an order made earlier today the recorded division on Motion No. 78 is deemed demanded and deferred.

The question is on Motion No. 80. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 80 negatived)

The question is on Motion No. 81. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

(Motion No. 81 negatived)

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 82 to 85 in Group No. 5 to the House.

The member for Hamilton Mountain is rising on a point of order.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, could you just clarify what happened to Motion No. 80?

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Motion No. 80 in Group 4 was defeated.

We are now on the motions in Group No. 5.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

moved:

Motion No. 82

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 206.

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North, moved:

Motion No. 83

That Bill C-10, in Clause 206, be amended by replacing line 16 on page 101 with the following:

“the instructions, based on certain evidence and criteria, given by the Minister justify”

Motion No. 84

That Bill C-10, in Clause 206, be amended by replacing line 23 on page 101 with the following:

“nationals who, on the basis of reasonable grounds, are believed to be at risk of being subjected to”

Motion No. 85

That Bill C-10, in Clause 206, be amended by replacing line 26 on page 101 with the following:

“(1.5) The instructions, as well as the criteria referred to in subsection (1.2), shall be published in”

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Pursuant to an order made earlier today, the recorded divisions on the motions in Group No. 5 stand deferred.

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions at the report stage of Bill C-10.

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Report Stage
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The question is on Motion No. 1.

(The House divided on Motion No. 1, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #81

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 1 lost.

The hon. Minister of State and Chief Government Whip.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, if you seek it I believe you would find unanimous consent to apply the vote from the previous motion to Motion Nos. 43, 45, 71, 76, 77, 80 and 82, with the Conservatives voting no.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members are voting yes.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Liberal members are voting in favour.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

The Bloc Québécois votes yes.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Green Party votes yes.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion Nos. 43, 45, 71, 76, 77, 80 and 82 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 2.

(The House divided on Motion No. 2, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #82

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 2 lost.

Is the hon. member for Nanaimo—Alberni rising on a point of order?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify that my vote was counted.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The member did not stand when we took the yeas and nays, so his vote in fact was not counted.

The question is on Motion No. 5.

(The House divided on Motion No. 5, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #83

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 5 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 35. A negative vote on Motion No. 35 requires the question to be put on Motions Nos. 36, 38 and 39.

(The House divided on Motion No. 35, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #84

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 35 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 36.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare Motion No. 36 lost.

(Motion No. 36 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 38. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

(Motion No. 38 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 39. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

(Motion No. 39 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 41.

(The House divided on Motion No. 41, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #85

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 41 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 47. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

(Motion No. 47 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 51.

(The House divided on Motion No. 51, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #86

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

7:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 51 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 53.

(The House divided on Motion No. 53, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #87

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 53 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 62.

(The House divided on Motion No. 62, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #88

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 62 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 64. A negative vote on Motion No. 64 requires the question to be put on Motions Nos. 65, 66, 67, 68 and 69.

(The House divided on Motion No. 64, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #89

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 64 lost.

The next vote is on Motion No. 65. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

(Motion No. 65 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 66. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 66 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 67. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 67 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 68. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 68 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 69. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 69 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 73. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 73 negatived.)

The next question is on Motion No. 78.

(The House divided on Motion No. 78, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #90

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 78 lost.

The next question is on Motion No. 83. If Motion No. 83 is agreed to, it will be necessary to vote on Motion No. 85.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 83 negatived)

The next question is on Motion No. 84. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it. I declare the motion lost.

(Motion No. 84 negatived)

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice

moved that the bill be concurred in.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #91

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

8:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from November 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-316, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (incarceration), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

8:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading of Bill C-316 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #92

Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

I wish to inform the House that because of the delay, there will be no private members' business hour today. Accordingly, the order will be rescheduled for another sitting.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I would ask hon. members who may not be staying for adjournment proceedings and who have conversations they would like to carry on with their colleagues to perhaps do so in their respective lobbies.

The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.

8:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question in the adjournment proceedings this evening pertains to a question posed to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

I am aware of the format for adjournment proceedings: I can speak for four minutes, and then the parliamentary secretary speaks for four minutes. She has five minutes in total, so I will give her the question now and then I will give her the preamble to the question.

The parliamentary secretary will have five minutes to come up with the right answer. When I asked her the other day, obviously the minister was totally unaware of the fact that the speed of payment indicator measured both the speed of issuing a cheque and of issuing a notice of nonpayment. The minister had no clue about that.

I want to ask the parliamentary secretary this question: once a notice of nonpayment is issued to somebody who has applied for employment insurance, does that notice start the clock all over again?

An unemployed individual filled out the application and went through the process, but the postal code was not the same on the application as it was on the record of employment. I want to ask specifically whether it is a fact that after the file is rejected and the person is issued a notice of nonpayment, that same individual then has to go four weeks without employment insurance because once the information is supplied, the clock starts again at day one.

The individual applied on October 1, but because there was some kind of mistake on the application, the computer rejected it. It got fixed up and was put back into the system. By that time it was the first or second week of November. It is a 28-day level of service, and the government says it can do it within 28 days, but in fact it is the second 28 days.

The minister almost separated her shoulder patting herself on the back the other day for getting cheques out in 28 days. It is pretty easy if we only measure 28 days at a time, but it is pretty tough if it is an individual's third 28-day rotation and that person has gone six, seven, eight weeks without a cheque. It is pretty tough to pay the bills with a notice of nonpayment.

The one question I pose is this: is it a fact that the clock is restarted after an applicant receives a notice of nonpayment?

8:50 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak specifically to all of the numbers and cases the member for Cape Breton—Canso seems to want to bring up, but I can say that the government is committed to delivering programs and services in an effective and efficient way.

Our government received a clear mandate from Canadians to eliminate the deficit, keep taxes low and continue creating jobs for Canadians.

A few years ago, we began to automate EI processing for greater efficiency. Over the next three years, EI processing will be consolidated into 22 large regional centres. We will ease the transition to a smaller workforce through attrition, reassignment and retraining. Affected employees will be considered for other available positions.

In these fragile economic times, we are working hard to make sure that we are investing in the priorities of Canadians and to ensure that their hard-earned tax dollars are put to the best use.

Our government is continually monitoring the performances of our services and technology to make improvements that meet the needs of Canadians.

We are implementing measures regularly to further improve service levels and help our employees continue to deliver results to Canadians.

Canadians want their tax dollars spent wisely, and we are taking full advantage of opportunities to modernize the delivery of employment insurance. Modernizing our services over the next three years will mean changes in the way we currently do business. Ultimately, it will allow for better, faster and more cost-effective services for Canadians.

For example, automation will soon be introduced with respect to the revisions of existing claims work all of which previously was done manually. Just last month we introduced changes to make it easier for employers to register and submit their records of employment electronically, a key requirement for automating claims processing.

As more employers sign up, we will eliminate an unnecessary paper burden on the system and continue our efforts to faster, more cost-effective processing of claims. We have also taken steps to reassign staff from non-core functions to support claims processing during peak periods.

We know that Canadians want efficient government that gives them value for their hard-earned tax dollars. That is exactly what we are doing and we are staying focused on that goal.

8:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, reference was made to automation. When the officials appeared before us at committee, they identified that currently 99% of applications are filed online and 50% of the applications are processed electronically.

The Conservatives make reference to the amount of paper. I think that excuse is paper thin. As they continue to automate, the performance numbers have been going down and down to five- and six-year lows.

How is laying off 600 employees and closing the call centres and the processing centres which the Conservatives are looking at doing, going to improve service to unemployed Canadians? It is coming up to Christmas. The government should show a little bit of love.

8:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, with continuous improvements to our business model, such as increasing automation, improved e-services, national workload management and document imaging, Service Canada is positioned to manage its workload in a very effective way.

The government is clearly adopting measures to ensure that the employment insurance program is delivered effectively and in a way that is most beneficial to Canadians.

The way in which EI claims are currently processed is out of date. Modernization at Service Canada will give Canadians in every region of the country better access to employment insurance and a host of other Government of Canada services.

So far this year, the average time to receive the first EI payment is 23 days. That is only two days longer than last year. The member should know that considering that the same information is included in the answer to order paper Question No. 162, which was provided to him earlier this month.

However, we are not satisfied with that. We all want to see improvements to serve Canadians better. That is why we are modernizing the employment insurance system so Canadians can receive their EI benefits even faster.

8:55 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is to address my question posed on November 4 of this year. It was regarding ethics and in particular the lack of full accountability regarding the planning process and funding of projects by the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka with the complicity of the then Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the member for Ottawa West—Nepean.

To summarize, there were 33 projects that used up approximately $50 million of funds that were earmarked for border infrastructure. Even with the facts that we have in hand, it appears that the members for Parry Sound—Muskoka and Ottawa West—Nepean used their privilege and power to skirt the rules and processes of infrastructure funding. It is this that disturbs all Canadians. They do not care that the projects were done on time and under budget. They are not comforted by the assurances of both members that they realize the error of their ways and that they will not do this again.

These members are not in elementary school. They are some of the most privileged individuals in the country. They are among the 308 leaders of Canada. Nor are they rookie members, for they served a long time under the Harris government previous to joining the Reform-Conservative coalition.

It seems that whenever there are these kinds of misdirections of funds the government always has a justification. The justification from certain wings of the Liberal Party about the sponsorship scandal was that it was to promote pro-Canada sentiment in Quebec after a fractious referendum in 1995. However, we know now, from the uncovering of all the information, that funds were misused and the original intent was subverted.

In 2006 the government came to power under the banner of accountability but a mere five years later we see that the Conservative government too has developed its own sense of entitlement. The member for Parry Sound—Muskoka and his accomplice, the member for Ottawa West—Nepean, believe that they do not have to submit the project application documents.

In the 2006 election one of the tightest races happened in Parry Sound—Muskoka. The member who ran in that race profited from disgust with the Liberal record and lack of accountability. His sense of entitlement will only hurt his colleagues in the future. This is why strategists in his party may have tried to tie his funding to the G8 summit, even though many of the projects were not even close to the site of the summit. These appear to be re-election gifts. These kinds of things work in the short-term for the member, but they harm the image of his party overall.

I am expecting to hear the same pat answers about how the minister appeared before the committee for two hours, how the members took the Auditor General's recommendations and will do a better job in the future, and how all projects came in on time and under budget. However, Canadians are expecting the whole story and waiting for the full truth.

8:55 p.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to the question from my hon. colleague. To be quite frank, this issue has been thoroughly aired and here are the facts.

The Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario has said that all the documents were provided to the Auditor General. Our government accepts the Auditor General's recommendations and will improve the process in the future. The Auditor General and now the RCMP have reviewed all of the facts in this case and the NDP has not produced any information that changes these facts.

This is the same kind of muckraking that Canadians rejected in the last election. We will remain focused on what matters to Canadians, and that is jobs and the economy.

9 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, do members know what Canadians reject time after time? It is when there is a lack of accountability and transparency on the part of the government. Throughout history, Canadian voters have rejected governments that take their sense of entitlement and privilege to an extreme where they actually misuse funds.

In this case, we do not believe that all the documents have been given. We would like to see the application documents. Some 200-odd application documents out of those 33 projects were chosen and we have not seen those documents. If the government were willing to do so, we would like to see it table the documents in this House.

9 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, again the opposition continues to muckrake and bring up issues.

Canadians right now are incredibly concerned about jobs and the economy, so let me just go back on this particular question and say that all documents were provided. The Auditor General and the RCMP have reviewed all the facts in the case and our government accepts the Auditor General's recommendations. The NDP has not given us any information that changes these facts, so again, we accept the Auditor General's recommendations and it has been thoroughly aired in this Parliament.

9 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the previous question, I used to sit on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and I could easily talk about the fact that we did not obtain the documents and that the documents we have are new ones. However, that is not the question that I want to raise this evening. In fact, I asked a question on November 4 about a troubling and problematic situation at the Canada Revenue Agency.

This has been known for a while, and other revelations have added to the questions we have about the Canada Revenue Agency. This is a problem for all Canadians, not only because the Canada Revenue Agency is an essential part of the government, since it is the main agency that collects money and enables the government to function, but also because Canadians must view the agency as neutral, efficient and above reproach.

Reports we obtained from the media, for instance, show that a situation is developing in some of the agency's offices in Quebec, particularly in Montreal. We are hearing about an extortion scheme and bribes paid to rather senior CRA employees in exchange for substantial income tax reductions. In one particular case, we heard about a Montreal business that owed CRA $3,500,000. Through this bribe and extortion scheme, that company managed to reduce that amount to $50,000.

All of this was uncovered in 2007 and we know that it has been going on for about 10 years. It was uncovered during an investigation into organized crime in Montreal as part of Operation Colisée. That investigation revealed that senior CRA employees in Montreal had some questionable ties to construction companies that were suspected of having links to organized crime.

Everyone agrees that the Canada Revenue Agency has to be above reproach. Obviously, the question that was asked did not apply to all employees, or to the employees in general, but to the few people who tried to use their positions in the Canada Revenue Agency for their own personal gains and to allow their friends to end up with a clean tax record. The investigation has not come up with much so far. Only nine employees may have been suspended or dismissed and many questions remain about the integrity of the process. That is why I asked the Minister of National Revenue the question.

There is one last thing I want to emphasize and it has to do with my second question on the fact that, during the investigation into one business in particular, the file, which had been in the office when the internal auditor mandated by the Auditor General was there, disappeared. This also causes certain problems and raises suspicions about the way in which the office operates.

The question was for the Minister of National Revenue and I would like to have an answer with regard to the investigation and what the government intends to do to reassure Canadians about the integrity of the Canada Revenue Agency.

9:05 p.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government takes this issue very seriously. We cannot tolerate the types of activities that are alleged. An RCMP investigation into these matters is ongoing and CRA officials are co-operating fully. Many of these allegations date back more than a decade and some of these cases are currently making their way through the courts. The integrity of our tax system is important to all Canadians and our government will take any steps necessary to ensure it is protected. It would not be appropriate to comment further or to add political interference in an RCMP investigation.

Having said that, I want to assure the House that CRA employees are held to a very high standard and any type of allegation of wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct is taken very seriously by our government. CRA employees are subject to the laws, as are all Canadians. Accordingly in cases where CRA employees are found to be involved in criminal activity, they are subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

The CRA investigates all allegations of employee misconduct. All CRA employees are subject to a strict standard of conduct, which is clearly defined in the agency's Code of Ethics and Conduct. Breaches of the standard of conduct may result in disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment. The CRA expects that its employees, like all Canadian taxpayers, will meet their personal tax obligations and that they will respect the system within which they are employed. Our government's absolute expectation is that the appropriate authorities take all steps necessary to ensure Canada's law is respected.

Unlike the opposition, we have faith in the RCMP. We await the outcome of its investigation. I would encourage my colleague to allow this work to go ahead free of unhelpful and potentially damaging political rhetoric and inappropriate political interference.

9:05 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I regret the tone that was used. This debate must not be politicized. Canadians are concerned about these news stories, and Quebeckers particularly, since happened in Montreal. I understand that police intervention is a delicate subject, but it is important to remember that nine employees were suspended or dismissed as a result of the investigation. People were sentenced. Are there other employees who will be sentenced or who are currently under investigation?

My second question is about the missing records. We recently learned that over 2,700 tax records at the Canada Revenue Agency were allegedly consulted without authorization and also went missing. What is even more serious is the fact that the Privacy Commissioner, Ms. Stoddart, was not even made aware of this situation. The fact that employees were suspended or dismissed is of interest to Canadians regardless of their political affiliation.

With regard to the disappearance of these records and the protection of privacy, I would like to know what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue intends to do to remedy this situation.

9:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have to reinforce this because it is very important. The government does take the issue very seriously. The minister has been clear that we will not tolerate the type of activities alleged. An RCMP investigation into these matters is ongoing and CRA officials are co-operating fully. We are confident in the RCMP's ability to conduct this investigation.

The integrity of our tax system is of course important to all Canadians. Our government will take any steps necessary to ensure that it is protected. Canada has one of the most successful and internationally praised systems of tax administration in the world. CRA is recognized as a world leader in administering the nation's taxes and the overwhelming majority of the 40,000 employees are above reproach.

In those exceptionally rare cases where there is a breach of the public trust, the CRA acts swiftly to take corrective action. In these cases, I would ask my colleague across the way to please allow the RCMP to do its job free of political interference. It is really not a time to try to score cheap political points with such a serious issue.

9:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 9:10 p.m.)