House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour pursuant to section 38 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act to lay upon the table the special report of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner concerning an investigation into a disclosure of wrongdoing.

This report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in relation to its study of the access to information dispute and the resulting court actions concerning CBC.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report. However, notwithstanding the deadline of 120 days stipulated in Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the comprehensive response to this report be tabled within 60 days of the presentation of the report to the House.

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague just tabled a report by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics concerning CBC. Pursuant to Standing Order 35(2), I will take a few minutes this morning to briefly explain the dissenting opinion we included in the report.

Following a study undertaken by the Conservatives in committee, several principles underlying our parliamentary system were challenged. Allow me to explain. We were very concerned by the questionable procedures the committee employed for this study, including the adoption of a government motion to require that redacted and unredacted documents at the heart of a legal conflict be reviewed by committee members. This motion overstepped the boundaries of a Commons committee's jurisdiction.

A legal opinion provided by Rob Walsh, retired law clerk and parliamentary counsel, reinforced our concern about this procedure. He noted the political nature of the study, which was being carried out at the same time as a case being heard independently by the court. He said:

A House Committee should not, in my view, take on the role of a court—or even appear to take on the role of a court—by addressing whether particular actions taken by a party are permissible under the Act. To do so is to encroach upon—or to appear to encroach upon—the constitutional function of the courts. Such an encroachment would offend the separation of powers between the judicial and legislative functions and possibly call into question the validity of ETHI's proceedings.

We firmly believe that the Conservatives have exceeded their authority in committee to the point of challenging certain fundamental principles of our political system.

I am pleased to have had this opportunity to talk about our dissenting opinion today.

Government Operations and Estimates
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates in relation to its study of the supplementary estimates (C) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

I am pleased to report that the committee considered a vote under Privy Council and reports the same to the House.

Status of Women Canada Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-406, An Act respecting the mandate of Status of Women Canada.

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to wish a happy International Women's Day to all my female colleagues in the House.

I have the great honour to introduce this bill on the mandate of Status of Women Canada. This is a goal that I have been working toward for many years so far—since 2004, in fact, when I began my political career. It has not yet been achieved. Status of Women Canada deserves to be a stand-alone department so that it can fulfill its mandate.

This is 2012, and if anyone in this House wants to try to prove to me that gender equality has been achieved, I am prepared to debate with that person any time, anywhere, for as long as it takes, because that is completely untrue.

I sincerely believe that the mandate of Status of Women Canada must be enhanced and that it must be made a separate department that would be in a position to promote and coordinate policy related to gender equality. It should also promote the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country. It should work with the federal government to ensure that women are equally represented and that gender-based analysis is truly implemented and is not just a concept that is added as an afterthought to the end of a bill. Programs must be truly equal and must remain that way. Status of Women Canada must support programs that promote the status of women and the organizations that work in this field, particularly those that focus on research and advocacy, since so much of their funding has been cut over the past few years. Finally, this department must be able to maintain an active dialogue with stakeholders from all areas related to the status of women.

If the hon. members in this House truly believe in gender equality, I hope that they will support this bill.

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

Financial Administration Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-407, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (gender balanced representation).

Mr. Speaker, I would add my congratulations to all women on this International Women's Day.

Volunteerism is a wonderful thing in all of our communities but it does not promote the equality of women, which is the reason for my bill. It would require that federally regulated boards be made up of at least 40% women.

The reality is there is a growing body of research that shows that gender-diverse corporate boards are more effective, perform better, access the widest talent pool, are more responsive to the market and lead to better decision-making.

Because women are active participants in the democratic governing of the country, both as voters and as politicians, they should have balanced representation in the management of crown corporations.

According to a report from the United Nations on the status of women, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that investing in women and girls has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency and sustained economic growth.

The reality is that, despite our best efforts in regard to federal organizations, only 32.43% of those boards have women as active members despite the fact that women make up 47% of the workforce.

We have been criticized quite significantly by the United Nations in terms of CIDA because we have not promoted the equality of women. Many industrialized countries have enacted legislation to achieve gender parity. Countries such as Switzerland, Norway and Spain have passed a law requiring that women's representation on boards reach 40% within the next six years.

We have a lot of catching up to do and this bill aims to help Canada to move in a positive direction.

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

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

March 8th, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among all the parties and I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the member for Hamilton Centre, all questions necessary to dispose of this motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Monday, March 12, at the end of government orders.

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. opposition whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

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

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by literally tens of thousands of Canadians who call upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known and that Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world even though more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial causes combined. They also point out that Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, the petitioners pray that the Government of Canada should ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities they live in; end all government subsidies of asbestos, both in Canada and abroad; and stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam Convention.

Citizenship and Immigration
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I bring forward a petition from individuals who have expressed their concern with regard to the announcement by the Minister of Immigration on November 4, 2011, to have super visas wherein individuals could get a 10-year multiple entry visa. However, only a few weeks later, the minister established an eligibility criteria for a super visa which disqualified potentially thousands of families from being reunited.

The petitioners are calling on the Minister of Immigration to take corrective action to improve the super visa criteria to enable individuals of all economic strata to have their parents be able to come to Canada to visit for important engagements, whether that be for a funeral, wedding, graduation or any other important reason for people to want to come and visit with family in Canada.

Poverty
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present.

The first petition is signed by a variety of people asking the House to adopt Bill C-233, an act to eliminate poverty in Canada.

The petitioners indicate that poverty affects over 10% of Canadians and disproportionately affects aboriginal peoples, recent immigrants, people with disabilities, youth and children. They also say that Canada ranks far behind most other developed countries in the extent of poverty among working adults and children.

Finally, Bill C-233 would require the federal government to develop and implement a strategy for poverty elimination in consultation with provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal governments and with civil society organizations.