House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libyan.

Topics

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

That seems to be a continuation of debate. If the member wishes, he can take it up at the next question period.

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of presenting one of many petitions from my riding of Hamilton Mountain today that calls on the House of Commons to ban asbestos in all its forms and issue a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities in which they work.

This petition is particularly apropos today when the leading asbestos exporter is in town asking for $58 million from the Quebec and Canadian governments to develop a new asbestos mine. This is despite the fact that we know that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known. It is banned for use in our country, yet Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos. It is more than ironic that we are taking asbestos out of Parliament buildings because of its deadly nature, yet we continue to export asbestos to other countries in the world.

To boot, as the petitioners rightly point out, Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry, which the signators refer to as “corporate welfare for corporate serial killers”.

It is time Canada started acting with integrity on this issue. The petitioners call upon the government to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam convention.

I know that the rules of the House do not allow me to endorse this petition, but let me conclude by saying that for the first time I find myself agreeing with former Conservative cabinet minister, Chuck Strahl, who is now joining the chorus of Canadians urging the Prime Minister to move on chrysotile asbestos.

Tanning Beds
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present today hundreds of names in support of my private member's bill in the last session of Parliament, Bill C-497. My private member's bill, which I plan on re-tabling in this session of Parliament, called upon the government to establish better labelling requirements for tanning beds to ensure that people understand that tanning beds are carcinogenic, that the World Health Organization has rated them as the highest cancer risk category, and that they do create melanoma skin cancer and other types of skin cancer.

We have seen hundreds of deaths per year from melanoma and other cancers caused because of exposure to sun and UV radiation. We need to ensure there is a positive public awareness campaign and the proper labelling of tanning beds, so that people are aware of the dangers they undertake.

Canadian Wheat Board
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, Canadian wheat farmers in the Prairies want to retain the Canadian Wheat Board. A vast majority have clearly indicated that in a plebiscite.

This petition is calling for the government to be respectful of what the Canadian prairie farmers really want. We appeal to the minister reponsible for the wheat board to do the honourable thing and listen to what those prairie farmers are saying and allow the Canadian Wheat Board to continue on.

It is with pleasure that I table this petition here today.

Shark Finning
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my great honour to present today to the House of Commons a petition started by constituents in Saanich--Gulf Islands, particularly Alisa Preston and the group of divers to which she belongs. They enjoy scuba diving. They love our marine environment and strangely enough one might think, they want to protect sharks. They have the fear that many of us have, having read the science, that the shark populations of the world are plummeting. They are primarily plummeting for one exotic dish, that of shark fin soup.

These petitioners, 400 in number and more flooding into my office every day from right across Canada, urge that the government take action to ban the possession of shark fins, so that we can bring this trade to an end.

With great respect toward those people for whom this is a traditional and cultural activity, it is time to put an end to shark fin capture and possession, and shark fin soup.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of people all over Ontario opposing a mega quarry in the Melancthon Township in Dufferin County, which will be about 2,300 acres. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to conduct an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Fisheries
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition regarding the state of the fisheries.

For the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in many cases examples of mismanagement were in play, perhaps due to the lack of resources in the department itself, among other reasons. This petition specifically calls upon the government to initiate a public inquiry into all aspects of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with an emphasis on fisheries management and to dismantle the current structure of DFO and put in place a model that takes into account fisheries science, with an emphasis on serving the fishermen who make a living from the industry.

I would like to point out that the vast majority of signatures on this particular petition are from Ontario.

Iran
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table two petitions today, each of which speaks to and condemns Iran's fourfold violations of international law, namely, peace, security and human rights including: first, its standing violation of international prohibitions against the development and production of nuclear weapons; second, Iran's standing violation of the prohibition against incitement to genocide; third, Iran's leading state sponsorship of international terrorism; and fourth, Iran's massive violations of the domestic rights of its own citizens.

Accordingly, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to: first, adopt and enact the Iran accountability act now before the House; second, to adopt and implement the unanimous recommendations of the foreign affairs committee report on Ahmadinejad's Iran threat to international peace, international law and human rights; third, to sanction these human rights violations; and fourth, to hold the Iranian leaders to account before the International Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

September 26th, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

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

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Notice of Proposed Procurement Concerning Canadian Wheat Board
Privilege
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I was very reluctant to add to my original question of privilege but felt I must because of the government's late input on this matter last Friday in an attempt to misrepresent the question I presented to the House on September 19.

It continues to put forward a position that only the House can take. That is the substance of my argument. It is presumptuous on the part of the government to think otherwise. It has put forward the position that the notice for procurement of auditors, and its wording, was merely part of the government's “planning efforts”.

I submit that the wording in the notice that categorically states an end date of July 31, 2012 upon which the work of the audit is to be based has only been put forward due to the fact that the government has a majority.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons have both confirmed that the elimination of the Canadian Wheat Board has been “a staple of Conservative election platforms.”

That being the case, one must ask oneself why the government had not placed such a notice at any time since taking office in January 2006. The reason is obvious. It knew that any legislation brought forth to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board would not receive majority support in the House and would in fact be defeated.

As I indicated on September 19, the presumption on the part of the government contained in my original submission was that the House and Parliament itself can be taken for granted. The government cannot let contracts to auditors as if the House and Parliament has spoken. That just affirms the government's fevered drive to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board.

In short, the fact of the notice appearing in the wake of the May 2 election and at no prior time speaks to the point that I have raised with respect to contempt.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, at pages 1398 and 1399, claimed that on two occasions the decision of Speaker Fraser did not apply to the matter I presented to the House.

I would remind you, Mr. Speaker, that in my citations of Speaker Fraser's ruling I acknowledged that there most certainly was a difference, one I would submit that prevented him from rendering a decision of a finding of contempt in 1989. The difference is that he acknowledged the fact that a technical paper on the goods and services tax was before the House by way of committee. In his opinion, that did constitute a public declaration of intent which prevented him from finding against the government.

The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader stated at page 1400 of Debates that I had implied that the “message on the MERX website was similar to the public advertisements placed by the former Liberal government in 1989”.

My first point is that the parliamentary secretary has failed to even get his facts correct. He would be well-advised to have someone do it for him. The government of the day was in fact the Conservative government. The GST is a Conservative policy.

My second point is had the parliamentary secretary taken the time to either listen to or read what I had presented to the House on September 19, he would know that I raised the point that these situations are different. What makes them different is the fact that Speaker Fraser acknowledged that a technical paper was before a committee of the House that provided a fig leaf of legitimacy and prevented a ruling of contempt at that time.

I had previously quoted comments from Speaker Fraser's contempt ruling. However, I would rather re-emphasize this point than quote them again. Speaker Fraser's dissatisfaction with the course of action taken by the Conservative government of the day should serve as a guide in terms of what I am claiming is a more egregious contempt by this Conservative government.

Mr. Speaker, I would add one last ruling for you to consider. Due to timing, I will not get into the length of it.

On page 1399 of Debates the parliamentary secretary references a decision of Speaker Milliken of November 25, 2002, which I believe once again reinforces my argument.

I would again submit that the fact that the notice of procurement and the task force terms of reference clearly states that the operating premise of both is not that the government is seeking input related to a possible policy initiative but that it is the outcome of the policy, namely the definitive termination of the Canadian Wheat Board within less than a year. That is the premise upon which both must conduct themselves in terms of the MERX proposal and the task force put forward by the government.

That presumes that Parliament has somehow indicated that this is to be the outcome of government policy. Neither the House nor any committee of the House has at any time even implied such an outcome as acceptable in any respect. In fact, over the last several parliaments we will find cases that the very opposite is true.

I conclude by stating that the interpretations of the citations of previous Speakers by both parliamentary secretaries have ignored one salient fact. The situation relating to the matters I presented on September 19 related to the notice for procurement on the government's MERX website and the terms of reference of the ministerial task force are different in that no specific proposal has been presented by the government in terms of its budget. Nothing has been presented let alone tabled by way of a technical paper. No legislation in draft form or otherwise has been provided to the House or any committee.

While expressing concern about the propriety of government advertising, previous Speakers have acknowledged that prior references in terms of documentation by the government prevented them from finding the government of the day in contempt of the House. The most important point being the lack of such documentation, I would respectfully submit, justifies a finding of contempt in this matter.

Notice of Proposed Procurement Concerning Canadian Wheat Board
Privilege
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for his further submission and assure him that I will take it into consideration.

The House resumed consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.

Libya
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie has 13 minutes to finish her speech.