An Act to amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act

This bill was last introduced in the 37th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2002.

Sponsor

Pierre Pettigrew  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

October 17th, 2006 / 3:40 p.m.
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Marisha Roman Vice-President, Board of Directors, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto

Thank you.

On behalf of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, we appreciate the opportunity to present our position on Bill C-9 to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

ALST has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on a number of occasions to address issues surrounding the sentencing of aboriginal people. We are also very active on the ground in justice issues. In 1999 we developed the community council, the first urban aboriginal and restorative justice program in Canada. We were also involved in the development of the Gladue Aboriginal Persons Courts in Toronto. Our Gladue caseworkers provide detailed Gladue reports to judges in Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford, and elsewhere in southern Ontario.

Our work has resulted in the imposition of many conditional sentences in circumstances where a jail sentence would otherwise have been a certainty.

We wish to make it clear at the outset that in our opinion, Bill C-9 is a retrograde move. It will not only worsen the already significant aboriginal over-representation in Canadian prisons; it will also result in less safe communities.

To put this issue in perspective, it is important to keep in mind a few statistics. The issue of aboriginal over-representation in prison was one of the motivating factors behind Parliament’s sentencing reforms in Bill C-41 and specifically in the introduction of paragraph 718.2(e).

Yet despite all the concerns expressed over aboriginal over-representation, the situation continues to get worse. From 1997 to 2001, the percentage of aboriginal people in jails in Canada rose from 15% to 20%. By the end of 2003-04, one in five men admitted to custody were aboriginal, while almost one in three women were aboriginal.

Independent Public InquiryPrivate Members' Business

June 14th, 2002 / 1:55 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to support this timely motion put forward by my colleague from Saskatoon--Wanuskewin in view of his concern about a problem in Canada. I commend my colleague for bringing it forward. The motion reads:

That this House appoint a committee to conduct an independent public inquiry into Canada's sentencing, corrections and parole systems for the purpose of identifying measures to provide meaningful consequences for offenders, reinforce public safety, and instill public confidence.

That sounds like a worthy goal but the parliamentary secretary completely dismissed the idea of bringing forward an independent inquiry to look at sentencing.

The last time the government attempted to amend the criminal code with regard to sentencing was almost seven years ago. In June 1995 Bill C-41 was rammed through the House of Commons much like Bill C-15B and Bill C-5 were rammed through this spring. The government attempted to pass legislation and then recessed for the summer. That is the way Bill C-41 went through the House.

Before I proceed, for the record I would like to state my opposition to the blatant disregard for democracy that the government has shown. To cut off debate on Bill C-5 and Bill C-15B as mentioned by the member from Yorkton an hour ago was nothing more than a cowardly act clearly demonstrating the government's desperation to have these contentious bills dispensed with given the growing opposition and the swelling dissent from within the Liberal ranks as well as the strong opposition from the Canadian Alliance.

Bill C-41 as stated earlier amended the criminal code providing an express statement regarding the purpose and principles of sentencing. Contained within that legislation were provisions for alternative measures, alternatives to prison for adult offenders. Bill C-41 contained conditional sentences where offenders sentenced to two years less a day could serve their sentences in the community under supervision rather than in prison.

The Canadian Police Association, an authority that even justice ministers often cite as law enforcement experts, commented on Bill C-41 but the commentary was anything but complimentary. In a brief submitted to the standing committee on justice the Canadian Police Association said:

Bill C-41 with few exemptions, is unwieldy, complicated, internally self-contradictory, duplicitous and what is worse in almost all of it, completely unnecessary for anyone with any knowledge of or use for the common law heritage of Canada.

The police association went on to say:

While it would attempt to codify basic sentencing principles, eliminating this most basic judicial discretion, at the same time it would bestow huge new discretionary powers to a whole range of persons within the justice system.The common thread in those new powers is that all are to the benefit of the offender in the sense of non-custodial consequences for criminal actions.

Where sentencing reform calls for protection, this bill offers platitudes. Where it calls for clarity it offers confusion and outright hypocrisy. It will almost certainly cause the already skyrocketing criminal justice budget to expand further still.

I could not have summed up what Bill C-41 accomplished better than what the Canadian Police Association did.

The government has a pathetic record when it comes to tightening the screws of justice. Conditional sentences are a prime example.

Since the introduction of Bill C-41 members of our party have requested amendments and subsequently asked that the criminal code be amended to restrict the use of conditional sentences. We have had ample reason to be concerned about the release of violent offenders, including rapists, back into our society and on to our streets. Pretty good reasons would be our daughters, wives and mothers and unfortunately, now we can even say our sons.

Sex offenders have the highest rate of reoffending. They have the highest recidivism rates and pose a serious risk to our safety and to the lives of our families. However, despite our repeated requests, successive justice ministers have refused to limit conditional sentences. As a direct result we see rapists walking free. We have numerous examples to prove this fact.

This afternoon I would like to mention a number of the appalling examples. On January 26, 1998, a Quebec court judge granted 24 year old Patrick Lucien and 23 year old Evans Sannon 18 month conditional sentences for sexual assault. The judge granted these lenient sentences although the crown recommended prison terms of five and four years for their heinous crimes. A community sentence was totally inappropriate and unacceptable for those two individuals who took turns raping an 18 year old victim while the other one held her down.

When questioned in the House about this case, the former justice minister said that she was satisfied to leave it in the courts. She was satisfied to leave that case and similar controversies to the courthouse rather than deal with the law here in the House. She was not prepared to amend the criminal code limiting the use of conditional sentences. We had then and still are requesting that happen.

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is planning to review conditional sentences, hopefully to an end of finally making them off limits for violent and repeat offenders, as we have been recommending for seven years.

Two weeks ago Chatham speech pathologist Larry Hyde was convicted of possessing some 5,000 images of child pornography on the hard drive of his computer. In the ruling the presiding judge described the images as very vile and yet Hyde was given an 18 month conditional sentence and ordered not to associate or communicate with anyone under the age of 18 unless he was accompanied by another adult.

Following the Hyde case, one newspaper said that conditional sentences for possessing child pornography seemed to be the norm across Canada. It is normal now. That is what we have come to in the country. It is normal to put these perverts back out on the street as quick as we can.

Last September, Daniel Isaac Sichel of New Brunswick was handed a six month conditional sentence for possession and trading of child pornography on the Internet. In December, Richard Blumhagel was sentenced to a nine month conditional sentence in a Windsor court for distributing videotapes of child pornography.

The only comforting news in the Hyde case is that the Chatham police have placed his photograph on the provincial sex offender registry.

Daily in the House we see members presenting petitions asking the government to make it a criminal offence for the sadomasochism of children and child pornography and yet we watch our courts put them back out on the streets with conditional sentences. It is a shame. Shame on the court and parole systems that allow such individuals to be walking our streets.

Limiting conditional sentences is only one of many changes that must be made to ensure offenders receive meaningful consequences. The other way, and perhaps one of the most important in my mind, is limiting parole and eliminating statutory release. Although the Canadian Police Association does recognize that there is a place for the conditional release of offenders, it believes that parole must be earned and not be an automatic right as is currently the case.

We completely agree with the Canadian Police Association. Criminals must earn their right to parole by the way they conduct themselves in prison and whether or not they better their lives by gaining a skill while in prison. Their right to parole should not be an inherent right.

National Parole Board statistics for 1999-2000 show the number of incidences committed by offenders on conditional release has increased. A corrections performance report states that the number of escapes from minimum security prisons are increasing.

Recent and all too frequent high profile people, such as police officers, as the member for Saskatoon--Wanuskewin mentioned, have been murdered by those who have been out on parole. Police officers who uphold the law and peace in the country have been shot and killed by individuals who have been out on parole. This is wrong.

We need a government with the will to make changes. The parliamentary secretary talked about reviewing the CCRA. The government accepted 48 of the recommendations two years ago but has failed to implement them.

Studies that are not accepted and nothing is done with them may as well be thrown in the fireplace. They do no good.

Divorce ActPrivate Members' Business

April 25th, 2002 / 5:30 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should immediately act on the December 1998 Report of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access entitled “For the Sake of Children”, and that the Minister of Justice should be condemned for failing to propose amendments to the Divorce Act on the basis of this report.

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure today to speak to Motion No. 329, which is designed to again point out to the Canadian people and to the House the necessity of looking after what might be described as a motherhood issue in old fashioned language. It is the importance of families and children to our society, the importance of the basic family unit to look after those children and the importance of our role as legislators in helping to look after children's needs in the unfortunate and sometimes tragic case of marital breakdown and the subsequent problems that entails for many children.

It is important to note that a majority of parents, even when marriages break down, do their best to look after their children and to put them first. There are occasions when children are used as pawns in a very unfortunate marital breakdown. This motion today is to again highlight the need for the House to be seized by that and to talk about putting children first in a children first agenda.

That is one of the reasons I brought this motion forward. It reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should immediately act on the December 1998 Report of the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access entitled “For the Sake of the Children”, and that the Minister of Justice should be condemned for failing to propose amendments to the Divorce Act on the basis of this report.

I point out there are two reasons why private members' motions and bills are brought forward. The first reason is the member actually wants, expects and hopes to develop new legislative options. Unfortunately, as we have seen again in the past week or two, that so seldom happens. There is an awful lot of work that goes into proposing alternatives. I have proposed alternatives on the management of CIDA, peacekeeping operations, the most recent blood samples act, et cetera. Members try their best to promote those things, but we all realize the government almost never passes them and the initiatives come and go by the wayside. We do our best but there is not much chance of them coming to fruition.

The second reason is a motion is put forward to point out that the work has already been done and it is simply a matter of the government finally getting on the bandwagon and making something actually happen. The work in this case has been done. It was done in 1998. The report was tabled. It is called “For the Sake of the Children” and be adopted in its entirety for the sake of the children. It is well named.

It is an excellent report and I urge people to read it. It deals with difficult issues like custody, alimony, payments for access to children, joint parenting proposals, the way the courts should be organized and all those kinds of things. It is also excellent because it puts the children first and that is what we should be talking about. I hope in the debate today we have a chance to describe the situation currently in Canada and what this report recommends.

I brought this motion forward because a few years ago I was dealing with a problem that a constituent of mine had. He was from Abbotsford. His former wife took their two children and moved to the east coast. He was subsequently laid off from his job and it took three full years for the courts to acknowledge the change in his employment status. In this case the court system pushed the father to the edge of financial ruin and dropped him into the abyss of deep, emotional anguish because the court would not recognize the change in his financial situation. Nor would it allow him access to his children on the other side of the country.

He felt that if the “For the Sake of the Children” report or parts of it had been adopted and had been passed into law by federal and provincial governments, it would have helped both he and his children during those difficult years. This constituent's interests were also driven by a sense of selflessness. He did not want the suffering that he had gone through to happen to others. He was especially gripped by the tragic story of Darrin White, which I will relay very briefly.

Darrin White was from Prince George, B.C. He committed suicide on March 13, 2000 after a court gave him only limited access to his children and ordered him to pay his estranged wife twice his take home pay in child support and alimony each month. The man was so desperate he eventually took his own life. The B.C. supreme court ordered him to pay his ex wife and three children $2,071 a month while his net pay was less than $1,000 per month. It was a shameful case. It drove this man to take his own life because he could see no way out the situation.

Because of this case and for his own well-being, the well-being of other parents and especially the well-being of children my constituent has continually kept the issue in the forefront when addressing the groups he speaks to. He has urged me to do the same. I am happy to do so today.

The roots of the report “For the Sake of the Children” date back to 1996 and 1997 when we were studying Bill C-41 which proposed to amend the Divorce Act. Witnesses came forward in large numbers. It was decided the committee should tour the country to get a holistic overview of how to fix a system that seemed based in another era, bring it up to date and put forward a modern, 21st century solution for all of us who want to put the concerns of children at the forefront.

The 48 recommendations in the committee's report not only had broad support from the all party Senate and House of Commons committee. They had the support of interest groups, parenting groups, children's advocates and others. They seemed to have the support of everyone but they have not been acted on. The report was tabled in 1998. Here we are four years later and there has been no significant change to the Canadian divorce system.

I will highlight a number of the recommendations. The committee recommended amending the Divorce Act by replacing the term custody and access with the principle of shared parenting. This would give mothers and fathers equal decision making powers on matters of fundamental importance such as schooling, medical treatment and religious upbringing.

At present custodial parents make all the decisions while access parents are only visitors. The principle of shared parenting would change that. It says both parents are essential to the proper development of children and that the best way to ensure this, even when a marriage breaks down, is to put the children first and allow both parents not only to have access but to be part of the important decisions in their children's lives.

Children develop best when left in an intact home. However when that cannot happen, as it unfortunately cannot from time to time, it is best that both parents share in the responsibility as much as possible. This recommendation is one of many that would make that possible.

At the same time the proposed recommendations would make it possible for courts to deny shared custody to abusive or negligent parents, which is of course our role. It is up to us to make sure parents do not abuse their children and that children are safe in that most hallowed of places: their own home.

The recommendations called for the rejection of the tender years doctrine under which judges routinely award custody of pre-adolescent children to the mother. Responsibility should not be gender specific. It should be shared. Both parents are necessary for the proper development and security of their children.

Recommendation 16 advocated:

--that decision makers including parents and judges consider a list of criteria in determining the best interests of the child--

Again, children should come first. The whole report was a breath of fresh air because it promoted the idea that it is not about parents who may have their own problems whether interpersonal, financial or who knows what. The important thing is to put the needs of children first. The so-called problems of the parents would often fade into the background if both of them and all of us looked at the children's needs first.

Recommendation 18 urged the Minister of Justice to undertake:

--a comprehensive review of the Guidelines to reflect gender equality and the child's entitlement to financial support from both parents--

Again, the concept of shared parenting was a key theme throughout the report.

Recommendation 21 called for the provincial and territorial governments to:

--consider amending their family law to provide that maintaining and fostering relationships with grandparents and other extended family members is in the best interests of children and that such relationships should not be disrupted without a significant reason related to the well-being of the child.

I refer to the motion brought forward in 1995 by former Reform MP Daphne Jennings advocating the rights of grandparents to access. This recommendation echoed that. It said unless it could be shown to be not in the best interests of the child we should do all we can to allow the supportive, nurturing relationships that are possible with grandparents and extended families to be maintained.

Recommendation 24 advocated:

--that unified family courts, in addition to their adjudicative function, include a broad range of other support services--

These would include family counselling, legal education, parenting assessment and mediation services. In other words, they would include doing what we could to prevent divorce whenever possible. They would also include looking after the needs of the whole family unit at that stage and eventually the needs of the children if necessary.

Recommendation 30 urged:

that the Divorce Act be amended to require (a) that a parent wishing to relocate with a child, where the distance would necessitate the modification of agreed or court-ordered parenting arrangements, seek judicial permission--

This recommendation would affect my constituent particularly. His estranged wife picked up her children and moved to Nova Scotia from Chilliwack. One cannot get much farther away than that. This constituent of mine went to visit his children. He should not have been doing so because there should have been shared parenting. However he went to the expense of going to the other end of the country, knocked on the door of his estranged wife and said he was there for a week to visit the kids. Her response was that she had decided not to let him see them.

My constituent sat in a hotel room and contacted a lawyer who told him he would get a court order in two or three weeks or a month. In the meantime he had to travel back to Chilliwack to look for work. Every time he went back to Nova Scotia his wife denied him access.

If the recommendations were implemented the courts would not let this happen because there would be a system of shared parenting. A parent who wanted to move that far away would have to seek permission from the court because shared parenting and the rights of the father to have an impact on his children's lives would be paramount.

The recommendations would allow custody relationships to become less adversarial. They would give greater protection to the needs of children, hence the report's title “For the Sake of the Children”. The recommendations should have been enacted.

The recommendations have broad public support. They have support in parliament as well. The hon. member for Prince George--Peace River has put forward 48 private member's bills on the issue, one for every one of the recommendations because he likes them so much. He too has been seized by the groups across the country who beg and plead with us to make sure the recommendations go forward. A National Post poll from February asked whether Canadian child custody and access laws should be overhauled in favour of the concept of shared parenting. Some 91% of those polled said yes.

The concept of shared parenting has broad public support. It has broad support in this place. It has support in the Senate. It is the desire of parliamentarians in this place that it go forward. Yet in 1998 nothing happened. In 1999 nothing happened. In 2000 and 2001 nothing happened. Here we are in 2002 and still nothing has happened. That is a shame because as each year goes by more and more children, 50,000 children a year, are left in the lurch hoping their parents have enough maturity and common sense to find a shared parenting arrangement. However we have no legislative framework, mediative services or common court systems that allow this to be done easily and without confrontation.

It is a shame. The government has agreed that families need to have a high priority. In 1999 the then minister of justice said we must make the needs and interests of children our highest priority. Here we are in 2002 and there has been no reaction. The new Minister of Justice says changes to the Divorce Act may be tabled sometime this spring. That may be good as far as it goes but I plead with the minister to reconsider. It is not only about the Divorce Act. There are 48 recommendations. It is not only about making it simpler to steer one's way through a divorce. It is about doing what is right for kids. It will take more than a fixed divorce act to do that.

The biggest reason of all for the government to move now on the 48 recommendations and stop dragging its feet is the children. It is for the sake of the children. Thousands of difficult situations could have been avoided in the last four years alone if the recommendations had been implemented. People such Darrin White have died because the issue has not been properly fixed.

Children do not get to see their parents. That could have been avoided. Some families suffer grief and pain. That could have been avoided.

I realize we are not going to vote on this motion tonight. However, I urge the government to not just look at the Divorce Act in isolation, but to look at the 48 recommendations. I urge the government to listen to the pleas of parliamentarians in both houses that we move forward, make the changes and enact the recommendations. Let us do it for the sake of the children.

PrivilegeThe Royal Assent

March 21st, 2002 / 3:15 p.m.
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The Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that when the House did attend Her Excellency the Governor General in the Senate Chamber Her Excellency was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the royal assent to certain bills:

Bill S-14, an act respecting Sir John A. Macdonald Day and Sir Wilfrid Laurier Day--Chapter No.2.

Bill C-37, an act to facilitate the implementation of those provisions of first nations' claim settlements in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan that relate to the creation of reserves or the addition of land to existing reserves, and to make related amendments to the Manitoba Claim Settlements Implementation Act and the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Act--Chapter No. 3.

Bill C-41, an act to amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act--Chapter No. 4.

Budget Implementation Act, 2001Government Orders

March 15th, 2002 / 12:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to the legislation as part of the overall government budget and overall government agenda.

When the Minister of Finance presented his budget to the House it focused on two elements: the economic security of Canadians and the personal security of Canadians. They are the themes of the budget because they reflected the priorities of Canadians. When Canadians were asked to define the two most important issues concerning them, they outlined the questions of economic security and personal security.

I do not want to spend too much time talking about the economic front because today we are dealing mainly with the part of Bill C-49 that concerns the security component of the budget.

The government predicted economic growth in 2001-02 in the vicinity of 1.1% to 1.3%. If we look at the international and North American climates our forecasts are very objective and very well balanced. From all economic indicators we have seen so far we are not doing that bad at all. In fact we are doing a lot better than we forecasted.

It is important to note that after 28 years of deficit year after year and government after government missing their forecasts, this government was able to end the deficit. We were able to post close to $17 billion in surplus in the year 2001-02.

As well we were able to pay in excess of $36 billion on the national debt. We balanced our books. We were able to free in excess of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion on an annual basis, money which otherwise would have gone to pay interest on the debt.

In addition, the government was able to do a tremendously positive thing with regard to interest rates and inflation. Canada has the lowest interest rate and the lowest inflation rate in close to 40 years.

All this came about without hurting the government's commitment to our social programs. On top of what I have mentioned the government has committed in excess of $100 billion in tax reductions. Canadians can see the benefits of good, sound government policies.

Canadians have told us they are exceptionally concerned about their personal security. That is why one component of the budget dealt with this issue very directly. The government has committed close to $7.7 billion over the next five years toward enhancing security for Canadians. Another $6.5 billion has been dedicated to securities and to the Canadian military. More than $1.2 billion were for initiatives designed to make Canada's borders more secure and efficient.

Let us look at some of the specific things the government has clearly stated. The approach of last year's budget was to ensure that security is paramount for Canadians and to ensure that the government has put more emphasis on increasing intelligence in policing, enhancing screening of arrivals at Canada's airports and border points, and to ensure that our people, both civilians and military, are better prepared for cases of emergencies.

On the intelligence and policing side the government has committed in excess of $1.6 billion over the next five years. Some of that money will go toward equipping and deploying more intelligence officers and frontline investigative personnel. This funding will go to federal departments and agencies including the RCMP and CSIS. The government has also provided resources to improve co-ordination among different law enforcement agencies in different parts of the country including the territories and to ensure that there is more sharing of intelligence between national and local security agencies.

The government is ensuring that we have more resources for marine security through greater funding for coastal surveillance and to strengthen the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada so we can deal with some of the offshore terrorist financing.

On the other front, that of the screening of entrants to Canada, the government has invested close to $1 billion to ensure better and more accurate screening of people who arrive on our shores. We will have more resources for detention and removal of those who arrive illegally, a quicker determination of refugee claimants and a system that is fraud resistant when it comes to people wanting to obtain visas or those who arrive in Canada with fake visas.

The third front is emergency preparedness and support for our military. The government has invested, as I said before, close to $1.6 billion. Some of that money will go to doubling the capacity of joint task force 2 which is doing a marvellous job right now in Afghanistan. Part of that money will go toward military funding, including support for participating in the international war on terrorism.

We have put more emphasis on enhancing the different networks to improve on the types of equipment and infrastructure systems our security agencies use. We have put more emphasis on protecting critical national infrastructure such as highway and airport facilities for water treatment, hydro systems and other infrastructure systems across the country.

One of the things that the government came forward with in budget 2001 was a new approach to air security. That is where Bill C-41 comes into the picture. The government has committed to allocate close to $2.2 billion over the next five years to make air travel more secure and to ensure security for Canadians who travel.

Some of the money will go to new air security measures such as armed undercover police officers on Canadian aircraft. The other day members of the opposition asked questions specifically to find out how many armed personnel would be on aircraft. The minister rightly said he would not tell them because those operations were supposed to be undercover and would continue to be undercover in many situations.

Some of the money will go toward training personnel at airports, screening passengers and carry-on luggage, state of the art explosives detection systems at Canadian airports, enhancing policing in airports, replacing aircraft cockpit doors to make them more secure, and enhancing security zones at the aircraft handling facilities on the tarmac.

These measures will be funded by a new air travel security charge to be paid by air travellers effective April 1, 2002, for travel in Canada. The cost of that is $12. That is what this whole debate seems to be about today. It seems to be focusing on the issue of $12, not on the issue of the importance of having a system that responds to the needs of Canadians.

If Canadians were asked whether or not as travellers they would mind paying the additional $12 for peace of mind that they would arrive at their destination safely, the answer from the vast majority of Canadians would be an unequivocal yes.

The bill would provide key air transport security services that are consistent and wholly integrated across the country. As well, it would provide an enhanced security performance standard in services across the country. Bill C-49 sets out a comprehensive strategy that responds to the needs of Canadians.

Bill C-49 would also see the establishment of an authority. That authority would first be responsible for the effective and efficient screening of people and their belongings that access aircraft or restricted areas through designated screening points at aerodromes and regulations.

One responsibility of the authority would be to ensure a highly visible role to reassure all Canadians of the Government of Canada's commitment to security in the air transportation system. It would also be responsible for screening duties which would be carried out by a stable workforce of people with the right skills and equipment. Another part of its responsibility would be to ensure consistency and the seamless delivery of screening across Canada. It would also be responsible for carrying out other security functions as the Minister of Transport may assign on behalf of Canadians.

I do not really understand the fuss being made by my colleagues. Is it the $12 issue or other issues that are bothersome to them? Having heard what I had to say on this issue, it is my hope we will see unanimity in the House in order to pass this legislation as efficiently as possible so that it can go to the other house and become law. Then Canadians would have the peace of mind they have asked for and we would respond to the priorities they have identified not only over the past few months but over the past year or so.

Let us make no mistake about it. September 11 was a tragic event of great proportion. Through this legislation the government is merely responding to what Canadians have asked it to do. I am pleased to have added my voice to the voices of wisdom of my colleagues on both sides of the House and to support and congratulate the Minister of Transport on this wonderful initiative. It is my hope that it will be passed through the House as quickly as possible and become law.

Youth Criminal Justice ActGovernment Orders

February 4th, 2002 / 1:10 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, under Bill C-41, the Liberal government undermined one of the most fundamental principles of our justice system, that all Canadians are equal before the law. We see it eroding again today.

In its 1997 report on the role of victims in the justice system, the justice committee recommended a mandatory minimum victim fine surcharge for both adults and young offenders. The government chose to implement the recommendation for adults but decided not to recommend the recommendation for the young offenders.

Why should convicted young offenders not have the same obligation to the victims as does those of the adults?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

November 30th, 2001 / noon
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Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Also, in accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, November 20, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade is happy to present its 14th report to the House of Commons on Bill C-41, an act to amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act. The committee agreed on Thursday, November 29, to report it without amendment.

Business Of The HouseOral Question Period

November 29th, 2001 / 3:25 p.m.
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Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond somewhat belatedly, as a result of the disorder created by the opposition.

The business of the House will be as follows. We will continue this afternoon with Bill C-27 respecting nuclear waste. Following that I propose we move on to private members' hour.

Tomorrow the business will be Bill C-44, the aeronautics bill for which the House gave its unanimous consent earlier this week and for which I thank it.

On Monday we will consider the report stage and third reading of Bill C-37, the Alberta-Saskatchewan claims bill. That would be followed by Bill C-39, the Yukon Act amendments.

Tuesday shall be an allotted day. This is the final day in the supply cycle with the resulting supply votes and so on at the end of the day.

On Wednesday we will complete any of the business that I previously mentioned that has not been finished, if such is the case, and we will consider the report stage of any bill that is reported from committee in the interim. I am told for instance that Bill C-41 has been reported today or will be tomorrow. That will be on the list as well.

Finally, there has been agreement among House leaders that on Monday, after we complete the deliberations on the two bills I mentioned, we would have a short debate on a motion on employment equity. That is a compulsory requirement according to our rules, to have a committee review of the employment equity legislation. The House leaders have agreed, and I have since put it on the order paper, that we would consider that motion toward the end of the day on Monday, in addition to the business I have just announced.

Anti-terrorism ActGovernment Orders

November 27th, 2001 / 10:35 a.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, a lot of legislation that is coming out of the justice department is legendary for being challenged in the courts.

Section 4.1 of the Department of Justice Act obliges the Minister of Justice to examine every bill produced in or presented to the House of Commons by the minister of the crown in order to ascertain whether any of the provisions thereof are inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Furthermore the Minister of Justice is required to report any inconsistency to the House of Commons at the first convenient opportunity. What the government has done is taken another method for checking whether it is consistent. Debate in the House brings forward concerns that every party would have and time allocation has been put on it.

Despite that obligation, we have seen that many other bills have ended up in the courts: Bill C-68, Bill C-41, the rape shield law--

Canadian Commercial Corporation ActGovernment Orders

November 20th, 2001 / 3 p.m.
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The Speaker

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Bill C-41, an act to amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

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November 19th, 2001 / 5:30 p.m.
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The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The question is on Bill C-41 at second reading. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Canadian Commercial Corporation ActGovernment Orders

November 19th, 2001 / 5 p.m.
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Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-41, because I have companies in my riding that have made use of the services of the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

Over the past 50 years, the Canadian Commercial Corporation has built up a solid record of achievement and has served Canada considerably both at home and abroad.

As Canada's intermediary in sales in public markets in other countries, the CCC provides a unique contracting and export sales service that has given Canadians a solid reputation as a reliable suppliers in the context of large scale sales to foreign governments.

Over the years, the CCC has developed contracts with foreign buyers for the sale of goods and services worth over $30 billion. These export sales have not only enabled thousands of Canadian companies, large and small, some of which are in my riding, to expand their sales, but have also helped promote high quality jobs for thousands of Canadians from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, including Quebec, which is part of Canada. These high quality jobs for tens of thousands of Canadians have been created, as I have just said, in communities across the country.

Since its inception in 1946, the CCC has developed unique expertise in the sale of Canadian goods and services in international government markets. The corporation is known especially for its role in defence and aviation orders of other governments, especially the U.S. Department of Defense, its biggest customer.

What is important to note is that today the CCC is much more than a defence specialist. In recent years, it has acquired considerable expertise in sectors of public markets that have nothing to do with defence.

The CCC is currently carrying 30% of its activities in the information technology and communications sectors, in environmental and transportation services, just to name a few. These non military sectors of foreign public markets offer great opportunities.

The CCC is now targeting foreign markets and sectors that offer potential and are of strategic importance to Canada. Besides traditional sectors such as defence and aviation, as well as the new priority sectors of information technology and communications, environmental and transportation technologies, the CCC is also focusing on oil and gas development, mining equipment, as well as housing and building.

As an organization supporting exports, the CCC helps Canadian exporters to research and get contracts through the following services: negotiation of sales and contracts, access to pre-shipment export financing by business sources and contract performance guarantee to foreign buyers.

In recent years, the CCC has established many contacts and has acquired a wide experience in foreign government supply markets. When the CCC acts as the main contractor in international markets, Canadian companies, as subcontractors, benefit from its expertise. The CCC provides Canadian exporters advice on international contracting, help during negotiations and support in dispute settlements.

Quite often, buyers from foreign governments want a contract performance guarantee that may be difficult to provide, particularly for SMEs.

This is very important, because the CCC counts the bulk of small and medium businesses among its clients. As we know, these are what keeps Canada, Canada's economy, rolling, and they are playing an increasingly large role in international markets.

In addition to the credibility offered by the CCC to foreign buyers, the corporation can also provide the financial guarantees demanded by government purchasers, thus conferring upon Canadian suppliers an advantage over the competition on the international level.

For example, under the progress payment program, small and medium businesses may draw against lines of credit of up to $2 million in connection with a project, at a preferential rate of interest.

According to surveys of CCC client companies, these attach a great deal of value to the services they receive. The corporation has determined that a value could be set for invoicing these services, based on the value to clients.

As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade has said, the corporation has already put into place a cost-recovery mechanism for certain of its services for the expansion of international markets.

The method proposed in this bill would be based on this experiment and would set a fee schedule reflecting a fair balance between applied costs and value received.

Even if approximately 70% of the corporation's clients are small and medium businesses, the new fee schedule will allow it to expand its clientele of such businesses with complete independence.

This bill will enhance the tools and trading flexibility the CCC requires, and will enable it to work effectively on behalf of Canadian exporters in foreign public markets.

The bill enables the corporation to set reasonable charges for its services, to become more self-sufficient and to expand its client base. Thus the CCC will be in a position to support higher levels of export by Canadian corporations, which will have the effect of increasing employment and adding to the wealth these corporations provide to Canadians.

I might cite the examples of three companies, clients of the CCC, that are located in my riding and have created jobs within that riding.

The first one is Anachemia Canada Inc. which is located in Lachine, Quebec. This company provides hazardous waste management and recycling services. It came into contact with the CCC a number of years ago through an original contract with CIDA. Since then Anachemia has done business through CCC in the United States, Europe and Australia. This is a success story. It is a success story for the company, the client, and also a success story for CCC and for Canada.

Another company is Canada Allied Diesel or better known as CAD, which is also in Lachine and is an example of CCC's expansion into new areas like transportation. CAD works on refurbishing railway cars and is currently working with CCC on a CIDA project with the Tanzanian Railway Corporation.

The last company in my riding that I would like to mention is Invensys Performance Solution. CCC is supporting Invensys on a $9.5 million U.S. contract for an airport security and safety program in Bolivia.

Those are examples of how CCC is a success and how the amendments in the bill will improve its efficacy and its efficiency.

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November 19th, 2001 / 4:45 p.m.
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London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in debate on second reading of Bill C-41. I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine.

Before speaking to CCC and Bill C-41 I wish to join others in congratulating the Minister for International Trade on his great success and the great success of the WTO at Doha, Qatar. I welcome the minister back from what was a very tiring schedule but a very successful ministerial meeting.

We see the launch of a new round of trade talks which is critically important, particularly in light of the tragedy of September 11 and the economic slowdown that so much of the world including Canada finds itself caught up in.

The Minister for International Trade showed great leadership in Doha. He was one of six facilitators who helped to cobble together the agreement, which meant many long days and evenings of work.

The Minister for International Trade is an indefatigable worker. He does not stop when it comes to pursuing a goal that he knows is very worth while. I congratulate him on his great work. It means hope for Canadian farmers. They may eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, see a level playing field as we look at the issue of subsidies.

It means greater hope for the less developed nations of the world that stand to gain so much. Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the UN, said that the best thing we could do for the less developed nations of the world was to globalize and liberalize trade and to bring down barriers, which would allow them to raise themselves out of poverty.

I look forward with great anticipation as does most of the world to the Doha development agenda proceeding over the next several years. I repeat the great pride I have in congratulating the Minister for International Trade on his leadership and the great part he played and will continue to play in this important matter.

I would like to lay out the historical CCC background in light of some of the comments made by opposition colleagues. The CCC successfully met specialized international contracting and service delivery needs on behalf of Canadian exporters for more than 50 years. The corporation has shown its value to Canada in times of both war and peace.

The corporation has served Canadian interests very well ever since it was first set up by the Government of Canada in 1946 to help with international rebuilding efforts following World War II.

Today we are thinking about the fight against terrorism and the need for Canada to play a full role in supporting that campaign. CCC is playing a key role on behalf of Canada as we respond to the increased demand for the goods and services needed to win the fight against terrorism.

However CCC is not just about supplying war material. Its origins were humanitarian and it has a growing reputation today for its success in negotiating contracts to supply the non-defence procurement needs of the governments of other countries.

In 1946 the corporation's task was to facilitate the participation of Canadian companies in the international rebuilding effort, the so-called Marshall plan, that was necessary and highly successful in rebuilding the economies of Europe and re-establishing international economic prosperity after the enormous devastation of World War II.

It was during that time of international rebuilding that CCC began to develop a special expertise in public sector procurement including for the military. The corporation first worked with Canada's Department of National Defence to meet Canadian procurement needs. CCC became a key link between Canadian suppliers and the U.S. military and other foreign buyers of Canadian products during the Korean conflict in the early 1950s.

A few years later, with the signing of the Canada-U.S. defence production sharing agreement in 1956, CCC became the official agency through which U.S. Department of Defense contracts were processed for the supply of Canadian goods and services to meet U.S. defence requirements. This special mandate to manage Canada's participation in the United States defence market provided CCC with a very unique capacity to act on behalf of Canadian suppliers to meet specialized procurement needs.

General Motors Defense Canada is located in my riding of London--Fanshawe. It repeatedly tells me how necessary CCC is to the success of its contracts. Some 80% of its business is in export sales. It is lavish in its praise of CCC and the necessary role it plays in helping it secure these important markets and keeping thousands of Canadians in my riding and across the country working at good, well paying jobs. General Motors would want me to make that point because it repeatedly makes it to me.

CCC created the base for the corporation to broaden its business scope and to use its expertise in public procurement to seek new markets for Canadian suppliers outside the traditional defence and aerospace markets. Today almost 30% of CCC's new business is in areas outside the traditional defence and aerospace markets. The corporation is working with an ever expanding range of clients to promote a broad range of Canadian capabilities in high technology, environmental sectors, transportation and consumer goods to public sector buyers all over the world.

CCC supports Canadian exporters in the following ways. First, it uses its special status as a prime contractor to the United States department of defence. One of our colleagues in the New Democratic Party alluded to this point. We will have an opportunity to explain more fully for colleagues the special nature of this relationship when we analyze the bill and debate it in committee.

Second, it facilitates access to international public procurement contracts for Canadian companies. Third, it provides a guarantee of contract performance to public sector buyers around the world on behalf of Canadian exporters. I alluded earlier to how critically important that is to firms like General Motors and many others. Fourth, it facilitates access to bank financing for Canadian companies that need working capital to finance export contracts.

These are four critically important ways that CCC supports Canadian firms hoping to export in a pretty competitive market. We need only reflect that some 43% of our GDP is directly tied to exports in goods and services to understand how important the work of CCC is to the healthy economy we are determined to see continue.

The availability of these unique services under one crown corporation roof provides Canadian exporters with an equally unique set of advantages in international markets. Last year CCC facilitated some $1.3 billion in export business on behalf of Canadian businesses, 70% of which were small and medium size businesses.

Over the years CCC signed export contracts on behalf of thousands of Canadian companies. The corporation facilitated export sales of over $30 billion to buyers in more than 100 countries. These export contracts created or maintained employment in many Canadian communities from coast to coast.

I do not believe the bill presents contentious changes. It presents necessary, common sense improvements. I noted with interest the remarks of colleagues opposite, particularly the member from the Progressive Conservative Party who made such positive points. We look forward to working with opposition members in committee to help make sure we have a strong bill that will make an even better CCC.

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November 19th, 2001 / 4:10 p.m.
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Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate the minister and the official opposition's critic for having demonstrated such eloquence in describing a bill that is, all in all, relatively modest.

In examining Bill C-41, an act to amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act, I found that there are basically three amendments. I admit these changes seem quite in order, however, what is more disquieting is what the bill does not contain.

The first of the three amendments contained in the bill separates the functions of chairperson of the board and chief executive officer. The bill describes the new functions of the two officials in charge of this new Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The second amendment authorizes additional borrowing to allow the corporation to pay its bills to small and medium size businesses diligently, because, as we know, these businesses are often in need of liquidity.

The third amendment would permit the corporation to charge an amount that it considers appropriate for providing services.

After looking at these three amendments, one cannot help but agree with the minister when he says that the purpose of the bill is to ensure that the Canadian Commercial Corporation be more focused on trade, and be better able to respond to the needs of exporters and evolving competition on international markets. He referred to the Doha Conference, which may indeed lead to increased access to a certain number of markets that currently allow either limited, or no access, to international competition.

I must add that the Canadian commercial corporation's contribution is not negligible. I noticed that of the 264 Canadian suppliers that signed contracts abroad through the corporation, 69 were located in Quebec, which represents approximately one quarter of the contracts that were signed. Most of these contracts were in fairly strategic sectors of economic activity and of greater Montreal's economy in particular.

For example, the most sold products are rail equipment and vehicles, at close to 44,3%. As for aerospace as has been mentioned on several occasions during the debate on Air Canada and the current problems with civil aviation, this sector accounts for 18.4% of equipment sales under CCC contracts. Finally, there are armaments at 7.7%.

It is, moreover, important to keep in mind that the Canadian Commercial Corporation plays a key role in respecting the defence protection sharing agreement signed in 1956. As we speak, 60% of the CCC's activities are still governed by or relate to the DPSA.

Obviously, as the minister has said, for some years now the corporation has sought to redirect part of its operations to help Quebec and Canadian exporters to do business with governmental agencies in numerous countries. In this connection, it needs to be acknowledged that it could be playing a far greater role than it is at present.

A survey commissioned by the Canadian Commercial Corporation of 506 exporters in the year 2000 indicated that 82% of them did no business with a foreign government. Worse yet, 86% had never tried to do so. Yet in 1999 government contracts throughout the world totalled $5.3 trillion U.S. in business. We are talking here of 18% of total world trade.

As we know, the coming round of WTO negotiations—and much vigilance is required in this connection—is likely to open up new market opportunities with public administrations. This represents a potential that is, obviously, not being exploited.

It is to be hoped that with the particular amendments the bill would introduce, the corporation could play this role of helping our exporters do business with foreign public administrations.

From this point of view, the Bloc Quebecois supports the bill. It adds the necessary tools for access to these important contracts, as I mentioned earlier, although it could go further.

Where we have a problem is that as the corporation diversifies its activities while maintaining its original functions, and here we are referring to products, such as in connection with national defence, there should be an extremely rigid legislative framework to prevent the Canadian Commercial Corporation from helping a company to export weapons or strategic products to countries which are violating human rights, waging unjustified wars, or encouraging the presence of terrorist groups within their borders.

There is an inconsistency here in connection with weapons and strategic products in that there is no very specific legislative framework guiding the CCC's operations in this or any other bill.

There are a few lines in the Canadian Commercial Corporation's report about the environment and the CCC's social responsibilities, but this seems completely inadequate to us. It puts me in mind of the debate we had a few days or weeks ago in the House and in the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade with respect to the Export Development Corporation.

We read in the Canadian Commercial Corporation's 2000-01 annual report:

CCC voluntarily applies its environmental review framework (ERF) on all capital projects.

This bothers me. How can a crown corporation, as in the case, unfortunately, of the Export Development Corporation, adopt an environmental framework outside the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act? It seems to me that this should have been tightened up. We know that it is very important, particularly in light of the awakening global concern with environmental impacts, including from projects related to foreign investments, often by large international companies.

We find what we read here completely inadequate. We would have liked to see the bill include provisions requiring the environmental framework the corporation uses to assess the impacts of the projects it supports to be better defined and applied much more rigorously.

In the section on the corporation's social responsibilities, it states:

Beyond traditional concern for economic well-being, there is growing interest amongst consumers, shareholders and governments with respect to the effect that business activity can have on genuine social prosperity, good governance and human rights.

Therefore, it is mentioned. What follows is a sentence that I could not manage to understand. I do not know if it is a bad translation or simply that they do not want it to be understood, but it says, and I quote:

Corporate social responsibility speaks to the degree to which corporate business practices reflect ethical principles protecting the community, human rights and the environment.

It is incomprehensible. This corporation will, in the end, take an interest in these concerns that it considers particularly sensitive in terms of public opinion, if it affects its corporate business practices, which should reflect ethical principles that are unknown to us. The only law that this document refers to is the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

I hope that concerns regarding human rights, the environment and democratic rights as a whole are considered more important than issues of corruption, which must be adequately suppressed.

This document announces that the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is currently undertaking a pilot project with Canadian businesses and representatives of the corporation to determine what the CCC's corporate social responsibilities are in the context of international trade transactions.

In this regard, I found the following statement absolutely shocking from the point of view of the interests of the minister himself:

The CCC continues to keep track of DFAIT's work in this area and will respond accordingly to relevant recommendations resulting from the process.

Again, I wonder if it is the French translation that is bad or if the wording is deficient. When the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will have completed its process, will the corporation engage in cherry picking to determine what it deems relevant in the reports that the ministers will have before them?

In that respect too we expected something a lot more substantial concerning the review of the impacts of projects supported by the Canadian Commercial Corporation in terms of social, human and democratic rights.

In this context, it is clear that we agree with the proposed changes. However, this is not nearly enough. I hope that we will have the opportunity, either following a government initiative or our own initiative, to have a debate on these substantive issues.

These issues are all the more important because the corporation will assume its responsibilities with Quebec and Canadian businesses in a context where—and I think that last weekend's protests should, at last, serve as a lesson to this government and to other governments involved in negotiations to liberalize trade—we must be aware that the public is now getting involved.

It is not just those who protest in the streets and who did so in Ottawa this weekend—and I should mention that my daughter was there to show her solidarity with the others, something which reflects the involvement of our young people—and when they do get involved, it is not necessarily against the opening up of markets. The public wants to make sure that this opening up of markets, this globalization will serve people and communities, and not just economic interests, particularly those of large businesses.

We still have not had this substantive debate. The Liberal government has not yet given us the opportunity to do so, but I can assure it that in the future, especially following the WTO negotiations and the negotiations on a free trade area of the Americas, we will be present to ensure that human, environmental, social and labour rights are respected.

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November 19th, 2001 / 3:55 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear the minister make reference to the meeting last week in Doha, Qatar. It is a sign of the times that Canada had nine federal parliamentarians at the meeting, two from the official opposition of which I was one, as well as some provincial ministers. I was pleased to be there to see the process at work.

We met with parliamentarians from other countries while we were at the meeting. There are currently no terms of reference for parliamentarians at WTO talks so we came up with a resolution as a group that would see a parliamentary association attached to the WTO which would lend itself to increased transparency for the organization.

The resolution would need consensus approval from 144 nations. We are not yet there but the Canadian government is an advocate as is the European community. We can only hope that after the next ministerial meetings this will resonate and we will get there.

Bill C-41, an act to amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act, is largely a housekeeping bill related to the activities of the corporation. Unlike the Export Development Corporation, most Canadians do not know about the Canadian Commercial Corporation. Probably the prime reason is that the Canadian Commercial Corporation is generally involved in non-controversial projects. Canadian producers contract to the Canadian Commercial Corporation which then contracts to foreign governments and their agencies for Canadian goods and services.

Protectionism has been falling away and government procurement has been opening up considerably. With additional membership in the WTO governments need to harmonize their procurement rules with WTO rules.

While in Doha Canadian parliamentarians met with Taiwanese parliamentarians. One of the things they mentioned to us was that Bombardier had bid on the transit system in their capital, Taipei, and were unsuccessful. However the rules were different then. As part of the process of becoming a member of the WTO Taiwan had to change its government procurement rules. It has done that. It wanted in no uncertain terms for us to pass on to Bombardier that it is open for business.

Taiwan had looked all over the world and thought Bombardier's product was a good product in the marketplace. Taiwan wants to put transit into three more cities and does not want Bombardier to give up on it as a possible client. These kinds of meetings are potentially quite beneficial.

We also met with the delegation from the People's Republic of China. One of the things we wanted to scope out with them was how much potential Canadian demand there was for forest products. This looks very promising. It is an avenue Canadian suppliers and the Canadian federal, provincial and other governments are pursuing.

As the official government contracting agent established in 1946 the Canadian Commercial Corporation can sell Canadian products and services in foreign government markets. Without the corporation many of these markets would be much more difficult to access and we would lose opportunities.

The difference between the CCC and its partner Export Development Corporation is that EDC is a financial institution that provides loans and insurance whereas the Canadian Commercial Corporation is not a financial institution and does not issue commercial loans or sell insurance.

Bill C-41 would amend the Canadian Commercial Corporation Act by separating the functions of the chairperson of the board and chief executive officer and describing the roles and responsibilities of the chairperson and president of the corporation. It would also authorize additional borrowing. This would be a significant increase. It would go from the $10 million that is currently authorized to $90 million.

The bill would permit the corporation to charge an amount considered appropriate for providing services. The historical level is somewhere between 0.5% and 4% and has tended to be done on a cost recovery basis rather than through a commercial fee for service.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation was involved in $1.338 billion worth of business last year. The corporation currently receives an annual appropriation of $10.7 million for its operating expenses and is allowed to borrow up to $10 million.

The CCC does not lend money. It acts as a facilitator between Canadian companies selling to foreign governments. The CCC generally acts as the prime contracting agency with the foreign government while the domestic producer contracts with the commercial corporation.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation is the custodian of the defence production sharing agreement, otherwise known as DPSA, with the U.S. which represents more than half its business volume. U.S. department of defence regulations specify that all U.S. defence purchases over $100,000 from Canadian suppliers be transacted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation provides services to Canadian defence suppliers such as a waiver of requirement for U.S. cost accounting standards. In other words, the commercial corporation will accept standard accounting practices in Canada and translate them into U.S. requirements. That is a significant service.

The corporation also offers a waiver of requirements to submit cost and pricing data, a waiver of some of the regulations of the buy American act, and duty remittance for defence goods and services purchased outside NAFTA for fulfilment of the defence production sharing agreement.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation charges no fee for DPSA contracts. The $10.7 million appropriation is linked to that part of its activity. In other words, if the CCC is not charging a fee it needs government appropriation to pay its operating and other costs.

This special defence arrangement dates back to 1956. It is in Canada's strategic interest to continue it. As custodian of the defence production sharing agreement the CCC is mandated to serve as the contracting agency in support of the procurement needs of the U.S. department of defence. It also deals with NASA.

In times of crisis or war the Canadian Commercial Corporation, in keeping with our obligations to the United States under the defence production sharing agreement, would serve as Canada's national contracting instrument associated with industrial mobilization of Canadian sources of supply. Accordingly the procurement regulations of the U.S. department of defence specify that all defence purchases from Canada above $100,000 U.S. must be transacted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The DPSA maintains special access for Canadian companies to the enormous and highly protected U.S. aerospace and defence markets. The other 46% of business volume consists of contracts with foreign governments for anything but defence production sharing arrangement contracts. Cost recovery is practised but it is ad hoc. Bill C-41 would allow preset commercial fees to be charged for commercial corporation facilitation.

Some of the things the commercial corporation offers are risk assessment of financial, managerial and technical competencies; advice on preparation and submission; assistance in contract negotiation; government backed guarantees of contract performance; and contract monitoring including auditing and closeout.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation guarantees that small and medium size Canadian companies will be paid by the foreign governments within 30 days. Foreign governments usually take longer than 30 days to make payment so the commercial corporation may have large cash outlays it recovers some time later from the foreign governments. As I understand it, this provision is the major reason the Canadian Commercial Corporation wants to increase borrowing.

I disagree with this. There is no reason suppliers should not have to wait for normal payment regimes from foreign governments when they do so in all other transactions that fall outside the business of the Canadian Commercial Corporation. Domestic suppliers supplying to the Canadian government do not get this kind of favouritism.

In summary, the Canadian Commercial Corporation has had a fairly narrow mandate. As a consequence it has been run until now in a fairly conservative fashion. It has been around since the post war period, 1946, and the defence production sharing agreement has been in place since 1956.

The first priority of the Canadian Commercial Corporation has been the DPSA. The second priority has been all other procurements. It has tended to run a fairly tight risk analysis. This is why in the last fiscal year the broad debt worked out to 0.1% or one-tenth of 1%. Any lender would consider this to be good performance in terms of reducing their risk. I have a concern that relates to the new borrowing powers the commercial corporation wants.

I could describe that concern this way. If it were to have this new-found borrowing authority one of my concerns would be that normal constraints would fall away and there would be a tendency for the commercial corporation to go for riskier business on the basis of its borrowing power. Second, suppliers would be attracted to the commercial corporation not for its technical abilities or its ability to help them gain entry to the market but because of its expedited payment. Essentially, everyone knows that when we deal with governments we do not get paid within 30 days.

I believe this corporation has an essential role to play but I believe that increasing the borrowing power from $10 million to $90 million is not in the taxpayer's interest and is not in the long term interest of the commercial corporation.