House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rail.

Topics

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.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 responses to six petitions.

Environment and Sustainable Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to its statutory review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

I am very pleased to report that the committee has considered the votes of the main estimates 2012-13 under agriculture and agri-food and reports the same.

Poverty
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to table a couple of petitions on behalf of some constituents.

The first petition is with regard to Bill C-233, An Act to eliminate poverty in Canada.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition pertains to something which members on all sides of the House have been supportive of, my colleague's Bill C-311, to modernize the archaic 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.

We want to free our grapes and let the wine flow across the provincial borders, so we can have a much more enjoyable Canada from coast to coast to coast.

Electro-Motive Diesel
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from the community of London and former workers of Electro-Motive Diesel.

The petitioners want the Parliament of Canada to know that Caterpillar illegally removed production equipment from EMD in London against the collective agreement. It forced a lockout on December 30, 2011, and demanded that the workers take a reduction in wages and benefits in excess of 50%, and accept a reduced and insecure pension plan. All of this is despite the fact that these workers had made Electro-Motive Diesel a very profitable company. In fact, productivity had increased by 20%, and the profits were up in the billions of dollars over last year.

The petitioners are requesting that the Parliament of Canada investigate the conditions of the sale of Electro-Motive Diesel to Caterpillar, and to immediately enforce any and all appropriate penalties should there be violations under the Investment Canada Act.

I might add that in light of the recent debate in the House about the need to strengthen the Investment Canada Act, it is most appropriate that the petitioners are calling on the government to make improvements to the Investment Canada Act so that the travesty which happened to the EMD workers, their families and the London community does not happen again.

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is great concern about threatened changes to the old age security program. The petitioners regard this as a direct attack on the poorest seniors who rely on that money for daily living expenses.

In February of this year, the official opposition moved a motion which called on the House to reject the proposal by the Prime Minister to increase the eligibility age for old age security and also called on the government to take the necessary measures to eliminate poverty among seniors.

Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon Parliament to maintain funding for the OAS and make the requisite investment in the guaranteed income supplement to lift every senior out of poverty.

Suicide Prevention
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a number of petitions signed by people from Ontario and Alberta pointing out that suicide kills, on average, 10 Canadians each and every day, which means there are almost 4,000 preventable deaths each year. The petitioners also point out that suicide is not only a mental health issue but it is also a public health issue.

Therefore, the petitioners are calling on Parliament to adopt measures to recognize suicide as a public health issue, provide guidelines for suicide prevention, promote collaboration and knowledge exchange regarding suicide, and promote evidence-based solutions to prevent suicide and its aftermath, and to define best practices for the prevention of suicide.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to present two petitions. The first is entirely from constituents in my riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands, from Mayne Island, Pender Island, Victoria and North Saanich.

The constituents petition the House to take action on the climate crisis, specifically to put in place real plans to meet targets set by the House in votes in the 40th Parliament to reduce greenhouse gases by 25% against 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80% against 1990 levels by 2050. We are lagging woefully behind in having any plans at all.

Mr. Speaker, the second petition deals with the proposed Enbridge project across northern British Columbia leading to supertankers along the coastline of British Columbia. The petition is signed by residents of Grande Prairie and Calgary, Alberta, residents of Whistler and Vancouver, British Columbia, and residents of Ottawa.

The petitioners beseech the government to cease and desist from acting as the public relations arm of industry and to await the fulfillment of environmental assessment reviews before taking a position on the project.

Human Rights
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to submit petitions on behalf of petitioners in the greater Toronto area on the issue of human rights in Sri Lanka.

The petitioners point out that the report of the United Nations Secretary-General's panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka has found credible allegations which, if proven, would indicate that war crimes and crimes against humanity took place in the last days of the war. The petitioners indicate that the establishment of an independent, impartial, transnational justice mechanism to investigate the allegations is necessary. They also indicate that it is a duty under international law to address the violations of international humanitarian human rights. They also indicate that Canada has been recognized internationally as a champion of human rights and justice.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to urge the United Nations to immediately establish an independent, international and impartial mechanism to ensure truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka.

Republic of the Fiji Islands
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I continue to receive many petitions from thousands of Canadians across the country pointing out that Canada has closed its high commission serving the Republic of the Fiji Islands. They point out that Fiji is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, that all immigration business and other matters between Canada and Fiji must now be handled through the Canadian High Commission in Sydney, Australia. The petitioners point out that this causes inordinate delays and inefficient service for tourists, and with respect to visa business and immigration issues for Canadian and Fijian citizens. The petitioners point out that the United States, Australia, New Zealand, China and India all have embassies or high commissions in Fiji.

There are over 100,000 Canadians of Fijian descent who travel very extensively between Canada and Fiji. The petitioners therefore request that the government reopen the high commission in Fiji in order to provide the kind of consular services that these Canadians both need and deserve.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.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 Questions Nos. 412 and 415 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 412
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) responses to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR): (a) according to the government’s analysis, do the IRS provisions comply with the provisions of the Convention Between Canada and the United States of America With Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital and its amending Protocol (2007); (b) are there Canadian exemptions to FBAR; (c) has Canada negotiated the FBAR provisions with United States Treasury Officials or the IRS, (i) at what time was the government made aware of these provisions, (ii) how long did it take for Canada to respond to the changes made by the IRS and the United States Treasury; (d) how will the government ensure that the CRA does not act on behalf of the IRS to collect revenues and penalties; (e) has Canada informed dual citizens about their tax obligations resulting from FBAR; (f) what was the number of exchanges of information between Canada and the United States of America this year and during the past ten years regarding FBAR, (i) has the CRA set internal deadlines to be able to respond to exchange of information requests in a timely manner, (ii) will Canada work to improve bilateral cooperation on this issue, (iii) has there been an increase of exchange of information requests at the CRA due to FBAR; (g) will the government lose revenue as a result of the implementation of FBAR; (h) what are the cost implications emanating from FBAR (i) for the government, (ii) for the CRA, (iii) for Canadian banks, (iv) who will absorb these costs, (v) are there other types of non-financial costs such as efficiency or fairness reductions; (i) how many complaints has the CRA received regarding FBAR or related vexatious inquiries by the IRS, (i) what are the main complaints, (ii) what has the CRA done concerning these complaints, (iii) what department at the CRA is in charge of dealing with complaints of this nature, (iv) will the CRA cut Full-Time Equivalents from that department or reduce its funding, (v) has the office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman looked into the matter; (j) will FBAR prevent double taxation of pre-migration gain; (k) has there been an increase in arbitration cases due to active procedures by the IRS, (i) what departments are most affected, (ii) has the CRA cut Full-Time Equivalents from each of these affected departments or reduced their funding; (l) will FBAR affect different saving vehicles such as, but not limited to, (i) Registered Retirement Savings Plans, (ii) Registered Education Savings Plans, (iii) Registered Disability Savings Plans, (iv) Tax-Free Savings Accounts; and (m) how many Canadian-American dual citizens are affected by FBAR and does Canada have contact information for the dual citizens affected by FBAR?