House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Environment and Sustainable Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

June 19th, 2012 / 10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to its study to provide recommendations regarding the development of a national conservation plan.

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

Canada Genuine Progress Measurement Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, moved for leave to introduce Bill C-436, An Act to develop and provide for the publication of indicators to inform Canadians about the health and well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada.

She said: Mr. Speaker, I rise with great pleasure today to introduce a bill that had come before this House in previous incarnations by previous members of Parliament. I have updated it. It is looking to provide indicators of the measurements that really matter.

There has been a lot of work done on the issue of genuine progress indicators in contradistinction to simply measuring the health of our society through the gross domestic product and other indicators which are simply measurements of the exchange of cash in transactions.

I draw particular attention to the recent work that was performed by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, in conjunction with Professor Amartya Sen and Professor Fitoussi. It was done at the behest of the French government, but has now picked up general support through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

I would like not to use my own words, but to briefly quote the late Senator Robert Kennedy, who said just weeks before his death in 1968:

Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product...counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts [the] rifle and [the] knife, and television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry...the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning....

In fact, Senator Kennedy concluded:

--it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

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

Canada Shipping Act, 2001
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-437, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (prohibition against the transportation of oil by oil tankers on Canada’s Pacific North Coast).

Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise today to introduce an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, which would exclude oil supertankers from the inland waters of Canada's Pacific north coast, known as Queen Charlotte Sound, Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance.

As this House well knows, Canada's quality of life is closely connected to the health of our oceans, which are integral to our environmental, social and economic services and capital.

I join the majority of British Columbians who believe that transporting oil by supertankers in certain turbulent and hazardous inland coastal waters poses an unacceptable risk to the marine environment, to the communities and the businesses that depend upon that environment, and to all Canadians who share the common heritage of healthy oceans.

I am therefore pleased to introduce this bill, which would legislate the long-term Liberal policy of prohibiting supertanker traffic from the waters around Haida Gwaii, in order to protect the Pacific north coast of Canada from oil spills.

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

Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

moved that Bill S-8, An Act respecting the safety of drinking water on First Nation lands, be read the first time.

(Motion agreed to and bill read the first time)

Asbestos
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

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

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

Abortion
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition that has been signed by tens of thousands of Canadians.

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

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a number of petitions from Canadians from coast to coast to coast, who object to the government's decision to raise the age of eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67. The extent to which Canadians are disappointed and upset about this decision can be measured by the number of protests we have received in my office in the constituency and in Ottawa. The most vulnerable Canadians would be impacted by this decision, which is why Canadians are speaking out. Single parents, women in particular, will be impacted by this. The petitioners are asking that the government reconsider its decision, recognizing how difficult it would make life for those who would be impacted.

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present.

The first petition asks the government to change the payment dates for old age security. It asks the Government of Canada to enact regulatory changes to divide the OAS pension dates into two separate dates for each month. A payment set during the first week of the month shall be used for those OAS pensioners whose 65th birthday occurs during the first half of the previous month, and a payment date set for the last of the month shall be used for those OAS pensioners whose 65th birthday occurs during the second half of the previous month.

Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is to do with amending the Food and Drugs Act.

This petition tells the government that Canadians have a right to make informed choices about the food they eat by having adequate information provided on food labels. The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to support an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act with respect to mandatory labelling for genetically modified foods.

Genetically Modified Alfalfa
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

The final petition is also to do with genetically modified foods.

This is calling for a moratorium on GM alfalfa. The petitioners point out that organic farming prohibits the use of genetic modification and that the organic sector in Canada depends on alfalfa as a high protein feed for dairy cattle and other livestock, as well as an important soil builder. The petitioners call upon Parliament to impose a moratorium on the release of genetically modified alfalfa in order to allow a proper review of the impact on farmers in Canada.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition about the Experimental Lakes Area.

As many people know, this is an area in northern Ontario consisting of over 50 lakes, which is internationally renowned as an area where freshwater ecosystems and the effect of pollution on freshwater ecosystems are studied in their whole over a period of many years and decades. It is a unique laboratory for studying the freshwater ecosystems that we need here in Canada to live.

The petitioners ask the federal government to not cut federal funding for the Experimental Lakes Area.

The Environment
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by citizens of Canada who are concerned about the proposed mega-quarry in Melancthon Township in Dufferin County, which would be the largest open pit quarry in Canada at over 2,300 acres.

The petitioners are concerned with a number of things. They are concerned that the proposed mega-quarry would remove from production some of Ontario's best farmland. They are asking that the Government of Canada conduct an environmental assessment under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act on the proposed Highland Companies' mega-quarry development.

Animal Welfare
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition signed by residents of the riding of Kenora who are concerned that stray and wild animals are not sufficiently protected by animal cruelty laws under the property section of the Criminal Code. They are calling on the Government of Canada to recognize animals as beings that can feel pain, and to move animal cruelty crimes from the property section of the Criminal Code and to strengthen the language of federal animal cruelty law in order to close loopholes that allow abusers to escape penalty.

Mercury
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, mercury is one of the most toxic substances. Mercury used in dentistry may contaminate the environment by the disposal of solid waste products and contaminate air from dental clinics. Burial, cremation and human waste may also contribute mercury to the environment.

The petitioners request that the government recognize that the World Health Organization recommends the phasing out of dental amalgam and recognize the work of the intergovernmental negotiating committee. The petitioners request the government assume global leadership in recommending the phase-out of dental mercury and the phase-in of non-mercury alternatives within Canada at the upcoming UNEP intergovernmental mercury treaty negotiations.

Horse Meat Products
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed mostly by people in the region of Sarnia, Ontario, who wish to call attention to the fact that Canadian horse meat products that are currently being sold for human consumption in domestic and international markets are likely to contain prohibited substances. They call upon the House to bring forward and adopt into legislation Bill C-322, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption).