House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Access to Information
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 39(1) of the Access to Information Act, a special report of the Information Commissioner, entitled “Measuring Up: Improvements and Ongoing Concerns in Access to Information 2008-2009 to 2010-2011”.

This report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

May 31st, 2012 / 10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(a), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 26th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to a question of privilege: the free movement of members within the parliamentary precinct.

Procedure and House Affairs
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to the report. My party, the NDP, has prepared a dissenting opinion with regard to the recommendations that came from the procedures and House affairs committee.

This is a very important issue with regard to the practice of the privileges of our members of Parliament. We have a long tradition of an absolute right to unimpeded access to the House. There have been a number of times that the committee in the past has looked at this in the way of a motion as a result of determinations by yourself, Mr. Speaker, and other speakers, your predecessors. We have consistently retained that right as an absolute. It was always expressed as an absolute.

What I am very concerned about in the report that came out through the majority of the committee members on the government side is that it made no finding of breach of privilege in this case. It is quite clear from the facts that at least several members have been improperly impeded on those occasions from accessing the House in order for them to do their parliamentary work.

We have recommended in the dissenting opinion that there be a finding that privileges were breached and then, as the main report does, made some recommendations. Unfortunately, the main report made a major concession, as we saw it.

There is always this issue of a balance between the historical absolute right of our members of Parliament to access the House and precinct unimpeded versus—and this is where we get into the balance argument—the question of security.

The security issue, Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you are quite aware, only comes up as a significant concern when we have international visitors and the risk is raised significantly. For instance, when the President of the United States was here, there were problems. When the Prime Minister of Israel was here, there were problems, which is what this is about.

The government side is saying in the report, in effect, that security trumps. We are saying no, there are alternatives. We set those out in three very specific recommendations, that there are alternatives, that the absolute right should remain and that security can still be taken care of and all those concerns met. That is why we presented the dissenting report.

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons With Disabilities
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 5th report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons With Disabilities, in relation to the main estimates 2012-13.

Species at Risk Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-426, An Act to amend the Species at Risk Act (funding of atlassing)

I rise in the House today to introduce a bill to amend the Species at Risk Act. My bill deals specifically with the funding of atlassing or enumeration.

The enactment amends the Species at Risk Act to ensure that funds for the enumeration of a species, in connection with the financing of programs and measures for the conservation of wildlife species, are paid to the persons responsible before the enumeration of the species begins; that is the essence of this bill.

I would like to thank the hon. member for Laval—Les Îles, a member of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, for supporting this motion.

I have received statements from at least half a dozen associations and organizations in eastern Quebec alone. They have been promised funding in November or December to enumeration of a species. Endangered species often come to Canada in March, April or July, but the organizations receive the funding only in September or October. In some cases, the organizations have almost missed the opportunity to enumerate the species because they have to find a bank that will loan them money to hire people with the appropriate expertise to do the atlassing or enumeration.

At any rate, since it would not cost the public purse any extra to pay those people on time, this new measure would allow the organizations to do the atlassing with no administrative problems.

I personally believe that the House should take care of this simple administrative formality and pay them on time so that they can hire competent people and ensure the future of endangered species in Canada.

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

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-427, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (income averaging for artists).

Mr. Speaker, this is a proud and humbling moment for me. I have lobbied for this for at least a decade before joining the House.

This bill would help independent artists who do not have access to employment insurance and the Canada pension plan during feast or famine years. All independent artists can have a number of lean years. Then, if they are blessed, they will land something that shoots them up into the stratosphere. The bill intends to make it a little easier in regards to averaging their tax burden for that year over four or five years.

Many artists have looked for this. I know members of the House on the opposite side have heard that for a number of years. It would bring a sense of fairness to the people who contribute to this country in large measure.

Therefore, I stand here today to introduce this bill.

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

International Co-operation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition on behalf of residents of my riding who support international co-operation, and in particular an organization called Development and Peace.

They have signed this petition denouncing the cuts affecting non-governmental organizations whose reputation is beyond reproach and which have been involved in international co-operation for very many years.

In the case of Development and Peace, $35 million will be eliminated over five years, and this is completely unacceptable. This organization supports over 250 partners in 40 countries.

In essence, this petition calls for the funding to Development and Peace to be restored and for Canada to increase its international aid.

Wine Industry
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to the House a petition that I received from my constituents in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook. The petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament to vote in favour of Bill C-311, an act to amend the importation of intoxicating liquors act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use).

With over 40 wineries in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook, this piece of legislation is near and dear to me and my constituents. I echo the sentiments of these petitioners and urge all of my hon. colleagues to vote in favour of the bill.

There is a pressing need to modernize the 1928 federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act with a personal exemption for the purchase and shipment of wine across provincial borders. Allowing interprovincial importation of wine for personal use would greatly benefit not only the hard-working men and women of my riding but also Canadians from coast to coast who would soon be able to experience the extravagant array of wines grown not only in Niagara Peninsula but across our great nation.

Poverty
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, I have a petition from a number of residents in my riding, which I will attempt to summarize.

These petitioners are very concerned about the effects of poverty. Ten percent of Canadians live in poverty in a country that is incredibly rich. Among those are aboriginal people, recent immigrants and persons living with disabilities. We know that one in eight children in this country live in poverty.

The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to implement Bill C-233. This bill would require the federal government to develop and implement a strategy for poverty elimination in consultation, of course, with the provinces, territories, municipalities and aboriginal governments. Civil society is very concerned about the effects of poverty on our entire community.

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, residents of Winnipeg North have made a fairly strong statement by signing petitions regarding the government's decision to increase the age to apply for OAS from 65 to 67. They believe that people should continue to have the option to retire at age 65 and that the government should not in any way diminish the importance and value of Canada's three major seniors programs: OAS, GIS and CPP.

Rights of the Unborn
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Madam Speaker, I have three petitions.

The first petition is mainly from the county of Grand Valley, the village of Grand Valley, the town of Orangeville and the town of Shelburne in my riding.

Canada's 400-year-old definition of human beings says a child does not become a human being until the moment of complete birth, contrary to 21st century medical evidence. Parliament has a solemn duty to reject any law that says some human beings are not human.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence.

Abortion
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition is from basically the same towns in my riding. It is similar to the first, but it is worded differently.

Canada is the only nation in the western world and in the company of China and North Korea without any laws restricting abortion. Canada's Supreme Court has said it is Parliament's responsibility to enact abortion legislation. The petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Madam Speaker, my third petition is from people all over Canada who are concerned with the proposed megaquarry in Melancthon Township in Dufferin County, It would be the largest open-pit quarry in Canada, at over 2,300 acres.

The petitioners are concerned with a number of things, one of which is that the proposed megaquarry threatens the Grand and Nottawasaga River watersheds, including various freshwater fish species. The petitioners ask that the Government of Canada conduct an environmental assessment under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act on the proposed Highland Companies' megaquarry development.

Human Rights
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 relates to human rights, particularly in China.

This petition is from members of the public in Mississauga, Toronto and the vicinity who are offended by the continued persecution of people practising Falun Dafa or Falun Gong within China.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to impress upon the Chinese government the importance of human rights to Canada.

The petition is timely as we are creating more investment opportunities for China without environmental reviews as a driving force behind Bill C-38. It is important that we give this petition attention.

Shark Finning
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, the other petition is from residents of my own constituency of Saanich--Gulf Islands, residents from Mayne Island and Saturna Island, who are calling upon the House to take action to end the practice of shark finning. More than 70 million sharks are killed annually through this barbaric practice for the purpose of one important ceremony, but one dish should not wipe out a species.