House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Auditor General of Canada
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table the spring 2012 report of the Auditor General of Canada. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's 2011 annual report.

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-411, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (occupational disease registry).

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a bill that was tabled in the previous Parliament by Tony Martin, my former colleague from Sault Ste. Marie, who we all know was one of the hardest working MPs this House has ever seen.

I thank my colleague from Jonquière—Alma for seconding the bill.

The bill would require employers to report information about all accidents, occupational disease and other hazardous occurrences known by the employer to the Minister of Labour. It would also require the minister to maintain a registry containing all of that information and to make the information available to employees and potential employees for examination.

As I speak, I am drawn to the memory of my friend, Julius Hava, and his courageous battle with mesothelioma stemming from a workplace carcinogen.

He is not alone. We need only look at Elliot Lake. Every April 28, more names of deceased workers are added to the miners' memorial monument due to occupational diseases.

The measures laid out in the bill would be very important going forward for workers. I hope members on all sides of the House will see the merit in the bill and help move the chains forward on an issue of significant importance to many Canadians.

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

Official Development Assistance Accountability Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-412, An Act to amend the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (poverty reduction).

Madam Speaker, as the official opposition critic for international co-operation, I am pleased to introduce an act to amend the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, seconded by the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

My bill seeks to ensure that Canada meets the international target for donor countries of spending the equivalent of 0.7% of GNI on official overseas development assistance.

New Democrats believe that Canada can and should do more to help the world's poorest countries and people. In fact, the NDP official opposition is the only party in Canada that remains committed to former prime minister Lester B. Pearson's aspirations of dedicating 0.7% of our gross national income to development funding.

In our 2011 platform, we called for an immediate increase of $500 millions to Canada's ODA envelope, followed by a practical plan to reach the 0.7% over time.

For the NDP, this is not just an election issue. In 2005, our late leader, Jack Layton, was presented with a rare opportunity to rewrite a Liberal government budget. Jack cancelled billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts and invested the funds in priority areas, including a major boost to Canada's ODA.

When we consider that the 0.7% goal was originally set by former Liberal prime minister Lester B. Pearson and that the Conservatives believe in a robust foreign aid system, I hope my bill might find support from all corners of the House.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-413, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (judicial discretion).

Madam Speaker, this is a fairly straightforward bill to amend the Criminal Code. It is a provision that first appeared in the English criminal justice system.

Given the role that the government has played in increasingly dumping more mandatory minimums on to our judicial system, it is a way of moving back to what should be the case in this country, which is allowing each conviction and sentencing to be dealt with on the facts before the court at the time. What England did was to give to its judiciary the discretion to override mandatory minimums in appropriate cases, and that is what this private member's bill would do.

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

Criminal Code
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-414, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).

Madam Speaker, this private member's bill deals with an issue that is scandalous in that it was not put into law many years ago. This bill, in a somewhat different form, has been through this House twice and then stopped, once by prorogation and another time by the Senate.

The bill is quite straightforward. It is to address the reality that our criminal law dealing with animal cruelty has not been changed for over 100 years. This bill would bring us into the 21st century where other countries, which I would argue from a criminal justice standpoint are not nearly as advanced as Canada is, have moved on this issue.

The bill would do two basic things. It first recognizes that animals are sentient beings as opposed to a piece of wood or a piece of furniture, which is the way the Criminal Code currently treats them. The other thing that it would do has a very clear consequence. The number of convictions for animal cruelty would increase dramatically under the Criminal Code. We have estimates that only one in a thousand cases of animal cruelty can result in convictions under the Criminal Code, and this would address that issue.

It is a bill that I have worked on for a very long time and this is the third time I have had it as a private member's bill. It has been before this House for well over a decade and still has not become law.

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

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Madam Speaker, I have a petition calling on the government to maintain funding for OAS and to make the requisite investments in the guaranteed income supplement to lift every senior out of poverty.

These petitioners know all too well that the OAS is affordable and that the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the OECD have indicated that OAS is well funded. They also understand that the government's arguments citing that people are living longer ignores the fact that those living the longest are the most well-to-do and that lower income Canadians do not share the benefit.

Finally, the petitioners understand that these changes will affect future generations who are being piled upon by the government that is only interested in immediate results, not those of our children and our grandchildren.

Most of these signatures are from the great city of Elliot Lake.

Telecommunications
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, a couple of weeks ago, the Minister of Public Safety stood in this House and told Canadians that if they were against the Conservatives' lawful access legislation, then they were for and stood with child pornographers. The very good people of my riding in Davenport in Toronto beg to differ.

Many have signed this petition I am presenting today because they have deep concerns about major parts of this legislation. The bill compels telecommunications companies to collect and store personal information about users and hand over this information to law enforcement agencies without a warrant.

Upholding civil liberties, including the right to privacy, is the bedrock on which liberal democracies have been built.

The folks in my riding who have signed this petition wish to add their names to the well over 80,000 people who have signed a similar petition on OpenMedia.ca. I am honoured to be able to present this petition on their behalf in this House today.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions.

The first petition is signed by residents of Salt Spring Island within my riding who seek to bring the attention of the government, ironically, to the recommendations of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. They point out that the round table was created under the previous prime minister, the right hon. Brian Mulroney, and that it put forward estimates of the costs to our economy of ignoring the climate crisis.

This information, I wish to point out for the Minister of the Environment, is completely inaccessible on the Internet and is only developed through a multi-stakeholder process involving industry leadership, environmental groups, first nations and trade unions. There is no replacement for the national round table and its recommendations are brought forward by the petitioners calling for urgent action on the climate crisis. They lament the decision in the budget to kill the agency.

The second petition is from residents of Victoria, Duncan, Lasqueti Island, Hornby, Thetis Island, as well as Toronto calling on the Government of Canada to act urgently to bring into place a climate change plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The petitioners are also very much focused on the need to have a full, fair and transparent inquiry into the proposed pipeline across northern British Columbia to supertankers, which the petitioners believe are inherently unsafe in the northern waters of British Columbia.

Veterans
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to present two petitions on behalf of my constituents and others across the country.

The first petition is in regard to veterans. On April 9, we will be commemorating the 95th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. While we honour first world war veterans, tragically we have forgotten about modern-day veterans, the young men and women who have answered their country's call, provided service and ensured our freedom.

The petitioners want the Government of Canada to recognize the service of post-Korean veterans and to honour its commitment to ensure they have the benefits and supports they need. In addition to that, the petitioners call upon the House of Commons to conduct a full and honest debate on the future of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the services and benefits provided to our veterans and peacekeepers. They call upon the government to respect the will of Parliament and immediately implement any motions or legislation that would allow veterans to have the same services, including veterans hospitals, as their predecessors.

Poverty
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition is in regard to poverty. As we all know, poverty affects about 10% of Canadians and disproportionately affects aboriginal people, recent immigrants and seniors.

The petitioners call upon the government to enact swift passage of my colleague's private member's bill, an act to eliminate poverty in Canada.

Canada Post
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

François Choquette Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very honoured to rise here today to present a petition on behalf of the people of L'Avenir, one of the municipalities in my riding. The people of L'Avenir are worried about the reduction of services at their post office. They all—or nearly all—signed this petition calling on the government to maintain services and to ensure continuity of service at the post office in the municipality of L'Avenir.

Having a post office is not a luxury. This service should be provided in all municipalities. It is very important in rural environments.

These people have banded together and signed the petition. The mayor of L'Avenir is working very hard to get a meeting with Canada Post in order to ensure that there are adequate services.

The petitioners are calling on the minister to take concrete measures to ensure that rural post offices stay where they are and that services are not reduced.

Search and Rescue
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, I am proud to present yet another petition from residents mostly of Newfoundland and Labrador. These residents of Canada have grave concerns regarding the changes that are being made to the marine rescue coordination centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, it is being closed.

The petitioners urge the government to acknowledge and understand that this closure will put lives at risk. Six hundred people per year are saved as a result of the work of this centre. It is responsible for 900,000 square kilometres of ocean and nearly 30,000 kilometres of coastline. The centre is staffed with a group of people who are very knowledgeable of the coastline, of weather and water conditions, and of the people themselves and the dialects they speak. It is important to them that this centre not be closed.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

April 3rd, 2012 / 10:20 a.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

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

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?