House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Waterfront Toronto
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, not only can I confirm the commitment of the federal government, in fact, the commitment was $500 million and about $492 million of that money has been spent. In fact, most of the projects that have gone ahead, including Mimico Park, Canada's Sugar Beach and the Sherbourne Park, were done primarily with federal money on the Toronto waterfront. Therefore, we have supported the Waterfront Toronto project throughout its time of advancing.

I understand that the mayor of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto are having some discussions and I expect that they will come to an amicable resolution.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government said this week that he fully intends to reintroduce the bill to change the composition of the House of Commons by increasing the number of seats, describing Quebec's concerns over its decreasing political weight as “horse-trading”.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his House leader? Is that how much respect the government has for the nation of Quebec?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, each Canadian vote, to the greatest extent possible, should carry equal weight. We will be taking reasonable and measured action to restore fair representation in the House of Commons, including protecting Quebec's constitutionally-enshrined representation.

Unlike the opposition, we are governing for all Canadians and we will pursue what is fair and principled.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Finance in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to section 28 of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, it is my duty to present to the House the report of the Ethics Commissioner on an inquiry into Helena Guergis, former member for Simcoe—Grey.

Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two reports summarizing consultations on the Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. These reports were made available to the public on August 29, 2011.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 22 petitions.

Pope John Paul II Day Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-266, An Act to establish Pope John Paul II Day.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville to introduce my first private member's bill in the 41st Parliament. The bill is an act to establish Pope John Paul II day.

Pope John Paul II was born in Poland on May 18, 1920 and died in Rome on April 2, 2005. He was elected as the 264th Pope and Bishop of Rome on October 16, 1978. He was a pope who was hailed as the people's pope. He visited Canada in 1984, 1987 and in 2002. He established World Youth Day in 1985. Despite his increasing age and frailty, Pope John Paul II continued to travel and visited 129 nations during 104 trips abroad.

Pope John Paul II humanized the papacy and managed to connect with thousands from different religions that gathered wherever he visited. He helped end communism in eastern Europe and made a great contribution to world peace and freedom.

At his end, millions, including many Canadians, went to Rome affirming the last time how greatly he had altered the nature of the papacy and the world's expectations of a pope.

His Holiness John Paul II was a people's pope and this bill recognizes this and his contribution to Canadians and all people in the world.

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

Canada Water Preservation Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-267, An Act respecting the preservation of Canada’s water resources.

Mr. Speaker, I think this is the third time I have introduced this bill, going back a few years. I am hoping that this time it will make it through the legislative process. Essentially, it is a bill to enable the federal government, along with the provinces, to become part of the process of making water in Canada a public trust. More specifically, it is a bill that would keep water in its natural basin thereby preventing large diversions of water from one basin to another in Canada and, by extension, outside of Canada.

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

Excise Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on funeral arrangements).

Mr. Speaker, every family in this country goes through the death of a relative, a loved one or a friend. The average cost of a funeral in this country is $10,000 and it is simply unconscionable for the federal government to tax that.

I have been reintroducing this bill since 1998. It is now 13 years in the making. I hope the federal government will understand this time that a tax on funerals is simply unconscionable, un-Canadian and immoral.

I am asking the federal government to remove the GST portion on all funeral and crematorium services.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

September 19th, 2011 / 3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-269, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (community service group membership dues).

Mr. Speaker, no government can do everything for all of its citizens.

I could not help but notice that His Honour, the esteemed Governor General of Canada, stated yesterday in the media that we needed to do more for community service groups and volunteers in this country.

The basic premise of the bill would allow volunteers of an organized group, such as the Lion's Club, the Legion, the Kiwanis Club, rotarians, volunteer firefighters, et cetera, who provide 250 hours or more of service a year to claim a $1,000 tax deduction at the end of the year. We believe this would help offset some of the costs faced by volunteers across this country.

I should remind the House that in Nova Scotia alone, volunteerism equates to $2 billion of assistance to our economy. We can imagine what it is like in Ontario, Quebec and other larger provinces.

This is a repetitive bill that I have had in the House for over 13 years. I am hopeful that this time the government will see the merits of this legislation and pass it almost immediately.

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

Financial Administration Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-270, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act and the Passport Services Fees Regulations (passports for veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their spouses or common-law partners, and seniors).

Mr. Speaker, throughout the years, many members of the military and the RCMP have asked if it would be at all possible to have their passports and those of their immediate spouses issued free of charge as a benefit for their service. These individuals travel across the country and serve abroad many times. It would be a wonderful benefit to our men and women of the service and the RCMP. Allowing them to obtain a passport free of charge would go a long way toward thanking them for their invaluable service to this country.

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

Internet Child Pornography Prevention Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-271, An Act to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute pornographic material involving children.

Mr. Speaker, the genesis of the bill goes back to 1995 with the hon. Chris Axworthy, who was a New Democratic Party member of Parliament and who then became the justice minister and attorney general of Saskatchewan.

We have noticed that the government recently adopted small parts of this bill into its crime legislation, which we greatly appreciate, but it honestly does not go far enough.

What is on the Internet right now when it comes to the abuse of our children is unconscionable. I am sure I speak for all members of Parliament when I say that using the Internet to persuade and attract children for nefarious means for the pedophile industry is simply unconscionable. We must do all that we can to ensure that the Internet is not an evil means by which these people can perpetrate their deeds.

This bill, which has great support from police officers across the country, would go a long way in deterring that action in this country.

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

Employment Insurance Act
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-272, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code (compassionate care benefits).

Mr. Speaker, you and your wife have children and, if you both work outside the home, one of you can take a year off in maternity or paternity leave. What happens if a couple has a seven-year-old child who is diagnosed with cancer and has four months to live? What are parents prepared to do? That is a very difficult decision. Do they leave their places of employment to care for their loved ones? Of course they do. Will their employers keep their jobs for them when they return? We do not know.

The fact is that no one should have to go through that alone. We in the NDP believe in using the unemployment insurance system for what we call eternity leave for up to six months to allow someone the opportunity to take time off work to care for a dying relative on a compassionate basis or on a severe rehabilitative basis.

I notice that the hon. Jane Stewart, the former minister of social services back in 1999-2000, adopted part of this bill for six weeks and then the hon. Belinda Stronach extended it to eight weeks. We believe that is just not enough time. If it were increased up to six months, it would go a long way in assisting families when dealing with a very serious crisis in their lives.

We believe that of all the bills I have introduced, this one should pass immediately. It should be passed this afternoon, go to the Senate, over to the Governor General and be in law by tomorrow.

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