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House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Points Of Order

10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order this morning to clarify certain remarks that I made in the House on June 8, 1999 regarding our colleague, the member for Burnaby—Douglas.

Earlier this year the member for Burnaby—Douglas presented a controversial petition in the Chamber on behalf of a certain fringe group which was seeking the elimination of the reference to God in our constitution.

In my original statement on the matter I affirmed my strong support for the reference to God in all acts and proclamations devised by the House. I also quoted remarks attributed to the member for Burnaby—Douglas as printed by the Ottawa Citizen .

Although I still strongly support the reference, today I would like to clarify my original statement. Before I do, I must say that I was very pleased to receive a telephone call from the said member earlier this month. It is my understanding that it is not his intention to rise in the House to correct this apparent media misrepresentation himself. He has assured me that he does not share the views expressed by the petitions he presented.

That being said, and given his newly found support for the reference to God in the constitution, I would ask that my previous statement be amended to reflect this new reality.

Points Of Order

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for setting the record straight. He did recognize that the original statement he made was based on inaccurate information. Without in any way endorsing the premise of his statement today, I do want to thank him for correcting his previous inaccurate statement.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-263, an act to to amend the Criminal Code (hate propaganda).

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present this bill today which would expand the definition of “identifiable group” relating to the area of hate propaganda in the criminal code to include any section of the public distinguished by sexual orientation.

The current provisions of the code include reference to colour, race, religion and ethnic origin. The purpose of this amendment is to expand the protections of the hate propaganda provisions to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to protect these groups against public incitement of hatred.

Finally, I would note that the bill would give law enforcement officers the power to stop people like the Reverend Fred Phelps from crossing our border to spread his message of hatred and homophobia.

Too many gay and lesbian people are victims of crimes based solely on their sexual orientation. The bill will send out an important signal that Canada condemns all violence, including violence directed at gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

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

Blood Samples ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-264, an act to provide for the taking of samples of blood to detect the presence of certain viruses.

Mr. Speaker, this is the first of three bills I will be introducing today.

This bill would give individuals such as police officers, firefighters, emergency response personnel and good Samaritans, should they be subjected to blood products or body fluid products in the commission of their duties, the right to know the HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C status of the blood of the person with whom they have been in contact.

This would be a fair law and one which would protect individuals performing their duties in an effort to save lives.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-265, an act to amend the Criminal Code (violent crimes).

Mr. Speaker, this is a fairly simple bill which has wide ranging ramifications.

Basically, if somebody commits a violent act such as rape or murder three times, on the third commission of that offence the person would automatically serve life imprisonment without parole for 25 years.

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

Contraventions ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-266, an act to amend the Contraventions Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (marijuana).

Mr. Speaker, this is the last bill which I will be introducing today. It deals with the simple possession of marijuana.

Essentially the bill would decriminalize, not legalize the simple possession of marijuana. A person who is found in possession of marijuana would receive a fine. There would be three levels of fines. The fines would then be used to pay for prevention and education programs for children to deter them from using illicit drugs.

I introduce this bill as the result of the huge overloading of our courts, particularly in British Columbia. It would save the taxpayer money, it would improve prevention programs to dissuade children from consuming illegal substances and it would go a long way to relieving the congestion in our courts. It would also help in preventing people from taking up illicit substances.

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

Canada Elections ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-267, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act (registration of political parties).

Mr. Speaker, this is the reintroduction of a private member's bill which was introduced in the last session. The bill addresses the problem of the 50 candidate rule which, as most members will know, was struck down by a court in Ontario. The court in Ontario said that two members would make a party. There are 12 in my bill, consistent with what we do here in the House.

I hope members will enjoy debating the issue.

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

Canada Elections ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-268, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act (electronic voting).

Mr. Speaker, as members may know, about three years ago the Government of Ontario introduced electronic voting in its elections act. Now it is quite common for voting for council members and mayors to be done electronically.

There is no such provision in the Canada Elections Act. The chief electoral officer has asked that it be included. Therefore, this bill would simply insert that into the Canada Elections Act.

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

Recall ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-269, an act to establish the right of electors to recall members of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, of course this is a fairly scary piece of legislation for some members of the House who cannot come to grips with the fact that the voters who actually put them in this place should also have the right to remove them if they are not performing.

The bill would introduce the right of recall as is done in other jurisdictions like California, which, I might mention, has not recalled anybody for maybe 25 years. It is effective to have it there as a tool.

I look forward to a meaningful debate on the legislation.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Reform Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-270, an act to protect persons accused of a crime from undue public speculation and suspicion before guilt has been established.

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this enactment is to protect persons accused of a crime and their families from the effect of media reports that cause public suspicion, speculation and outrage before guilt has been established. Early publication of criminal proceedings can cause irreversible harm that is not justified in the case of an accused who is later acquitted.

I would like to note that this enactment does not in any way impede the right of the public to attend any court proceedings. The resultant restriction on freedom of expression, which is in effect a requirement to delay publication, is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society in order to protect the principle of presumption of innocence.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition today on behalf of members of my constituency and many Albertans.

The petitioners would like to express their astonishment at the legal determination that possession of child pornography is not criminal. They feel that the very existence of child pornography is ample evidence that a criminal act has been committed against a child. They want to express that opinion.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition that draws attention to the terrible consequences of the sanctions against Iraq.

The petitioners call on parliament to urge that all Canadian military personnel and equipment now taking part in the blockade of Iraq be recalled, and that Canada use all possible diplomatic pressures to urge the U.N. to end the sanctions.

The petitioners point out the devastating impact particularly on children. As a result of the embargo, 650,000 Iraqi children have died.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have quite a number of petitions to present.

The first set of petitions I am pleased to present totals 11 pages with the signatures of 158 concerned Canadians from the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and B.C. For those who are keeping track, that is a total of 15,415 signatures of people who are demanding better protection of property rights in federal law.

These citizens are most concerned that there is nothing in the charter of rights and freedoms which restricts the government in any way from passing laws which prohibit the ownership, use and enjoyment of their private property or reduces the value of their property.

These Canadians are also concerned that there is no provision in the charter that prevents the government from arbitrarily taking these lawfully acquired and legally owned properties without compensation.

The petitioners request parliament to support my private member's bill which would strengthen the protection of property rights in federal law by amending the Canadian Bill of Rights.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the next group of petitions I am pleased to present is 154 pages long with 3,649 signatures of concerned citizens from eight different provinces and one territory in Canada.

Canadians from coast to coast are united in opposition to the federal government's fatally flawed, billion dollar gun registration scheme.

My constituents have asked me to keep a running total of repeal Bill C-68 petitions that I have introduced. Since April 1998, I have introduced 2,009 pages of petitions with a total of 49,914 signatures.

The petitioners are calling for an end to the government's firearm fiasco because: First, registration will do nothing to curtail the criminal use of firearms; second, registration is not an effective way to address the violent crime problem in Canada; third, registration is opposed by the vast majority of frontline police officers; and fourth, registration is being challenged in the supreme court by six provinces and two territories, comprising more than 50% of Canada's population.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Progressive Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition on behalf of the people in my riding.

The petition is addressed to the House of Commons and parliament assembled. It states that we the undersigned citizens of Canada draw the attention of the House to the following: Whereas, a majority of Canadians understand the concept of marriage as only the voluntary union of a single, that is unmarried male and a single, that is unmarried female; and whereas, it is the duty of parliament to ensure that marriage, as it has always been known and understood in Canada, be preserved and protected.

Therefore, the petitioners pray that parliament enact legislation, such as Bill C-225, so as to define the statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition on the subject of God and the constitution. The petition was signed by residents of my constituency of Burnaby—Douglas, as well as many other constituencies in Canada.

The petitioners note that the laws of our country have always been based on Judeo-Christian morals and values which have been passed down through the centuries via western civilization; that the majority of Canadians believe in the God who created the heavens and the earth and are not offended by the mention of his name in the preamble of the charter of rights and freedoms; that the preamble of charter of rights and freedoms acts as a foundation upon which the subsequent sections are based and sets forth the basic transcendental understanding for our rights and freedoms.

Therefore, the petitioners pray and request that parliament oppose any amendment to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or any other federal legislation which will provide for the exclusion of reference to the supremacy of God in our constitution and laws.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I present one other petition on the subject of medicare, also signed by residents of my constituency of Burnaby—Douglas and others.

The petitioners urge that the federal government preserve and enforce the Canada Health Act, the foundation of medicare, in every province and region of Canada and maintain the five key principles of medicare.

They call upon parliament to enshrine the Canada Health Act and the five principles of medicare in the Canadian constitution to guarantee national standards of quality, publicly funded health care for every Canadian citizen as a right. They call for this in the Constitution of Canada.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

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

The first petition contains 120 signatures. It draws the attention of the House to the fact that a majority of Canadians are in favour of a fair agreement with the Nisga'a and that it is complete and equitable to all Canadians.

It points out that there are court cases presently outstanding regarding the Nisga'a treaty, some of which, including one by the Liberal Party of B.C., question the constitutionality of the agreement, and that the citizens of British Columbia should have a vote on the referendum before changes are made to our constitution.

They therefore pray and request that parliament reject this treaty as it will divide Canadians forever.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition contains 629 signatures. This is one of a series of several thousand signatures. It is in connection with the arrival of a ship earlier this year bearing illegal Chinese migrants.

The petitioners point out that bogus refugee claimants cause undue hardship for honest, bona fide refugees; that the current immigration system encourages international people smugglers; and that there is no effective system in place to quickly separate legitimate asylum seekers from illegal migrants.

They call on parliament to enact immediate changes to Canada's immigration laws governing refugees to allow for the deportation of obvious and blatant abusers of the system.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Liberal Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition this morning on behalf of the rural mail couriers who work for Canada Post. Most of the time they earn less than minimum wage and have working conditions reminiscent of another era.

Furthermore, these Canada Post employees have not been allowed to bargain collectively to improve their wages and working conditions like other workers.

They are therefore petitioning parliament to summon Canada Post to give them the same level of consideration as regular and permanent employees.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to table a petition signed by many residents in my riding and others who are asking parliament to ensure that marriage, as it has always been known and understood in Canada, be preserved and protected.

They ask that parliament enact Bill C-225, an act to amend the Marriage Act and the Interpretation Act so as to define in statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

The second petition I have, Mr. Speaker, also signed by constituents and others, asks that parliament, through the enactment and enforcement of the Criminal Code, protect the most vulnerable members of our society from sexual abuse and in particular child pornography.

They ask that parliament take all measures necessary to ensure that the possession of child pornography remain a serious criminal offence and that federal police forces be directed to give priority to enforcing this law for the protection of children.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition in the House which says that section 43 of the criminal code states that every school teacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or a child who is under their care if force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances, and that section 43 recognizes the primary role of parents in the raising and discipline of their children.

The petitioners ask that parliament reaffirm the duty of parents to responsibly raise their children according to their own conscience and beliefs and to retain section 43 in the Criminal Code as it currently is worded.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

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