An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day)

This bill was last introduced in the 38th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in November 2005.

Sponsor

Inky Mark  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Not active, as of Nov. 18, 2004
(This bill did not become 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.

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

June 19th, 2015 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on Bill C-597, on the last day of the 41st Parliament. This bill would amend the Holidays Act to make Remembrance Day a legal holiday. That is an important distinction. People watching and listening to this debate might be a little confused with the words “legal” and “statutory”. It is not calling for a statutory holiday. A statutory holiday would be a holiday like Canada Day, a day off that celebrates Canada right across the country. That is not what this bill is asking for.

It is simply asking for a one-word change to section 3 of the Holidays Act. I will read that section with the change in it. After this bill passes, section 3 would read as follows:

November 11, being the day in the year 1918 on which the Great War was triumphantly concluded by an armistice, is a [legal] holiday and shall be kept and observed as such throughout Canada under the name of “Remembrance Day”.

It would simply add one word, “legal”. Again, I have to emphasize that we are not talking about a statutory holiday; we are talking about a legal holiday. I will say a few more words about that in a moment.

Remembrance Day is important, and this change is important. There are four reasons why I think this change is important and I will go through each of them. The first is to commemorate and honour our fallen soldiers and veterans on a national level. Remembrance Day is celebrated and talked about in many different ways across the country, and there is no real unanimity. As we know, every year the number of veterans from past wars diminishes, and I think it is time that we show our support on a national level. Modern and wartime veterans are to be thanked for preserving the democracy that we live in and thrive in today.

I can only go by the experience in my own riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River of what happens on Remembrance Day now. It is interesting to note that with the one-word change, things would likely not change in my riding.

In 1970, Thunder Bay became the city it is today from two separate cities. My riding encompasses the south side of Thunder Bay, which is the old Fort William. In Fort William Gardens every Remembrance Day, without any exaggeration, there are 3,000 to 4,000 people. The complete ice surface, which then is a cement surface, is covered with veterans, presenters, wreath layers, honoured guests, and so on. It is a wonderful celebration of what Remembrance Day means to so many people in Thunder Bay.

On the other side of town, in Port Arthur, there is also a celebration on Remembrance Day, which happens at exactly the same time. However, what is interesting is what happens in the rest of my riding on that day. I attended the Atikokan ceremony last year. I have to pick and choose each year and rotate where I am at 11 o'clock on Remembrance Day. I was in Atikokan last year, where there was a wonderful event put on by the legion. I should also mention that in Thunder Bay the legions are terrific, both on the day before Remembrance Day and the day of, in terms of how they treat everyone who attends to be part of Remembrance Day with them.

In the far west of my riding, at 11 o'clock, Fort Frances has its Remembrance Day ceremony. That is supported and organized by the legion. As one goes down Highway 11 to the end of my riding in Rainy River, the Remembrance Day ceremonies are staggered so that when I am in the west end for a ceremony, I can actually get to Fort Frances, Emo, Stratton, all the way to Rainy River without any problem to be part of the Remembrance Day ceremonies.

When I am in Thunder Bay, I attend the 11 o'clock ceremony. That is eastern time, do not forget. We gain an hour going to the west end of my riding because it is central time. I then hop in my car and drive all the way to the other end of my riding, 500 kilometres, to be at the legion supper in Rainy River. I know that many other MPs do the same sort of thing when they have large ridings.

The point of my talking about that is to emphasize that under this bill what happens now for schoolchildren attending and everybody else making time to be part of the various ceremonies right cross my riding. It would not really change under the bill because we are not talking about a statutory holiday; we are talking about a legal holiday.

A legal holiday would help to provide an equal opportunity for everyone in Canada to observe November 11. It is really a symbolic change and hopefully it would entice provinces that currently do not observe November 11 as a holiday to change their practice. Six provinces and all three territories already observe November 11 as a holiday. Again, the bill would not force the rest of Canada to have a holiday, but it would give it a slightly different status by using the word “legal”, which is an important distinction.

Many people in constituents in my riding, young and old, all attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. It is a solemn time in my riding. Members may or may not know that thousands of young men and women have been involved in war efforts over the years, including, most recently, in Afghanistan. There is a real understanding in Thunder Bay in particular of the importance of Remembrance Day.

While a lot of people already do attend, the bill would go further to encourage all the provinces to give an opportunity for everyone to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies.

My last point is that it important to have an additional opportunity to educate the next generation. I want to say just something very briefly about that. The school boards right across my riding make a terrific effort to have veterans come into the schools. The children enter the poster contests with the legions and so on. There is not one schoolchild in my riding who does not have an understanding and appreciation of Remembrance Day and what that means. The education of the next generation is already happening, and the next generation after that. I suspect it is much the same right across the country in just about everybody's riding. A lot of things would not change with the bill, but it would increase its status somewhat, and I that is important.

I am going to finish off with just a brief recap of the bill and bills like it, and what the history has been in the House. I hope people will get the idea that it is high time to give support a bill like this.

I will talk about the NDP first. The NDP has put forward similar bills in the past. In 2006, our MP for Hamilton Mountain brought forward Bill C-363. She did the same in 2009 with Bill C-287. There have also been two motions in the past: Motion No. 424, in the year 2000 by Nelson Riis; and Motion No. 27, in 2006 by our member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

It is also interesting that in the past the Conservatives have brought forward similar bills. Inky Mark brought forward two bills: one in 2004, Bill C-295; and one in 2006, Bill C-354.

The Liberals have also brought forward bills that are much the same in the past. They brought in two bills and a motion. Ronald MacDonald from Dartmouth brought forward Motion No.699 in 1990, another one in 1991, and another in 1994. Roger Gallaway from Sarnia—Lambton brought forward Motion No. 298 in 2002.

Given the history I have ended my speech on, I can see no reason why we cannot get unanimous support right through the House for this.

Speaker's RulingCanada Labour CodePrivate Members' Business

September 20th, 2006 / 6 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on June 6, 2006 by the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean in relation to the need for a royal recommendation for Bill C-257, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (replacement workers).

I would like to thank the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean for his very thorough presentation, as well as the hon. member for Vancouver East and the hon. government House leader for their contributions on this point. The Chair appreciates greatly the seriousness with which they have approached this matter.

The central issue relates to clause 2 of the bill, which would insert new provisions in section 94(2.1) of the Canada Labour Code allowing the minister to designate investigators who would have the power to verify and report on whether replacement workers were being employed during a strike or lockout.

The key question is whether the designation of these investigators constitutes an authorization for new spending for a distinct purpose. As part of its review of the bill in attempting to find an answer to this question, it is helpful for the Chair to determine whether new functions are being contemplated or whether the functions proposed are already foreseen as being part of the usual workload of existing personnel.

With regard to Bill C-257, the Chair has taken note of the points raised by the hon. members for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean and Vancouver East, namely that other sections of the Canada Labour Code contain provisions for inspectors, albeit not for investigators. Sections 248 to 251 describe the duties of inspectors who may inquire into employment in any industrial establishment, and in particular, matters relating to wages, hours of work, or conditions of employment.

Do the new provisions proposed in Bill C-257 alter the statutory functions of inspectors so significantly as to require a royal recommendation? The hon. members for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean and for Vancouver East made arguments to the contrary and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform did not contest those submissions.

Having heard arguments and reviewed the provisions of the parent act that describe the duties of inspectors, the Chair is prepared to conclude that the provisions in Bill C-257 which relate to the designation of investigators by the minister do not constitute an authorization for new spending for a distinct purpose. The functions which are already being performed by inspectors would appear to be reasonably similar to the functions envisaged by Bill C-257.

Therefore, I am prepared to conclude that Bill C-257–in its present form–may continue to be considered by the House of Commons without the need for a royal recommendation.

As the hon. member for Vancouver East has rightly pointed out, BillC-295, standing in the name of the hon. member for Vancouver Island North, is very similar in nature to BillC-257 and indeed contains provisions that are identical, particularly with regard to the work to be performed by investigators.

Accordingly, I am prepared to indicate to the House immediately that Bill C-295 does not require a royal recommendation.

As members can appreciate, the determination as to what legislative initiatives require a royal recommendation can be a highly complex exercise. At the outset, the Chair wishes to dispel any notion that there is one set of rules on the royal recommendation for majority government situations and another for minority government situations. The preoccupations of the Chair concerning the royal recommendation may seem to be new, but are well grounded in constitutional principles and will continue to exist regardless of the composition of the House.

As I indicated in my statement to the House on May 31, 2006, the reforms adopted in 2003, the coming into force of which has coincided with the minority situation that has since prevailed, have resulted in more private member's bills being votable, thereby increasing the number of bills with the potential to reach the third reading stage.

In addition, as members have only one opportunity to sponsor an item over the course of a Parliament, the Chair has sought to provide members with ample opportunity to address possible procedural issues in relation to their bills. For these reasons, a number of new practices have been instituted.

Where it seems likely that a bill may need a royal recommendation, the member who has requested to have it drafted will be informed of that fact by the legislative counsel responsible for drafting the bill. A table officer will also send a letter to advise the member that the bill may require a royal recommendation.

The Chair relies on our clerks and on our legislative counsel to make a first determination on what may appear to infringe on this financial initiative of the Crown. Of course, our clerks and legislative counsel are wise in these matters but they are not omniscient. That is why the Chair alerts members when, prima facie, a provision appears to contain a new authority to spend. Members are then expected to rise and explain precisely what these initiatives entail, so that a final judgment may be made.

To reiterate what I indicated on May 31, I would welcome any suggestions from the House, the House leaders or the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, on how to improve this process related to the royal recommendation.

In the meantime, to conclude, Bill C-257, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (replacement workers), and Bill C-295 which has the same title, may proceed as they stand, neither requiring a royal recommendation.

Once again, I thank all hon. members for their patience in dealing with this complicated issue.

It being 6:12 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's order paper.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 23rd, 2005 / 4:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Inky Mark Conservative Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls on Parliament to enact Bill C-295, an act to amend the Holidays Act to recognize Remembrance Day as a legal holiday that honours the men and women who died serving their country in wars and in peacekeeping efforts.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 15th, 2005 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Inky Mark Conservative Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present three petitions containing thousands of names from Canadians across the country.

Since we came back this week from Remembrance Day events in our ridings, my first petition calls upon Parliament to enact Bill C-295, an act to amend the Holiday Act to recognize Remembrance Day as a legal holiday that honours the men and women who died serving their country in war and in peacekeeping efforts.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 27th, 2005 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Inky Mark Conservative Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to rise today to present a number of petitions for the good people of Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette.

The first petition contains thousands of names and it calls upon Parliament to enact Bill C-295, an act to amend the Holidays Act, to recognize Remembrance Day as a legal holiday that honours the men and women who died serving this country in wars and in peacekeeping efforts.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 16th, 2005 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Inky Mark Conservative Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present two petitions today.

The first one is signed by 3,664 legionnaires from across the country. As members know, this year we are celebrating the end of World War II and we are indebted to our men and women who served us during that period of time.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact Bill C-295, an act to amend the Holidays Act to recognize Remembrance Day as a legal holiday that honours the men and women who died serving their country in wars and in peacekeeping efforts.

Holidays ActRoutine Proceedings

November 18th, 2004 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Inky Mark Conservative Dauphin—Swan River, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-295, an act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day).

Mr. Speaker, first let me thank the member for Selkirk—Interlake for his support. It is a great honour to table this Remembrance Day legislation on behalf of the 34 branches of the Royal Canadian Legion in my riding of Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette.

Last week all members of this House were in their ridings taking part in Remembrance Day services, remembering all those who gave their lives to keep this great country free and remembering the veterans and the millions of Canadians who served in our armed forces. If this day, November 11, is such an important day in our history, why is it not a national holiday? Why does November 11 not have the same status as New Year's, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas? When 8 out of 10 provinces already deem November 11 a public holiday, it is time that we change the status.

My bill would rectify that. My bill would amend the Holidays Act to make Remembrance Day a legal holiday and give it the same status as Canada Day. I ask all members for their support.

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