This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organized.

Topics

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present pursuant to Standing Order 34, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada Europe Parliamentary Association to the second part of the 2001 session of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe held between April 23 and April 27 of this year in Strasbourg, France.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 11th, 2001 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to present four petitions signed by constituents and other concerned citizens across the country expressing their concern about the problems that alcohol causes for pregnant women.

The petitioners have acknowledged support for the work we have done in the House toward a movement of labels on all alcohol beverage containers. They ask us to move with speed and call upon the government to mandate the labelling of alcoholic products to warn pregnant women and other persons of dangers associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from over 4,500 people in the greater Bois-Francs area.

The petitioners urge the House of Commons to amend the taxation legislation so that the estate only pay taxes on capital gains when real or other property are sold and not on a presumption of sale as currently stipulated in the legislation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, pursuant to Standing Order 36, three petitions.

The first two petitions are from people of the province of Quebec who call upon parliament to make every effort to make sure that Canada remains a unified nation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition from people from the province of New Brunswick who are concerned with the national missile defence program of the United States. The petitioners ask that Canada play a leadership role in banning nuclear weapons and missile flight tests in the world.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to present two petitions.

The first is from Canadians who are very concerned about the practice of Falun Gong in the People's Republic of China and how practitioners of Falun Gong have been subjected to persecution and arrest.

This petition calls on the Parliament of Canada to strongly urge the Chinese president to release all arrested Falun Dafa practitioners in China immediately and to lift the ban.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition comes from Canadians who want to express their concern to the House about increasing homelessness in Canada. The petitioners urge the government to adopt a national housing strategy and housing supply program that would commit an additional 1% of federal budgetary spending to meet this very basic human need for housing and shelter.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise and to present another petition calling on the government to reinstate the coast guard dive team.

The petitioners note that the coast guard dive team was withdrawn from service in February of this year and that it may have contributed to the death of Paul Sandhu. We are concerned because the service was instituted recognizing the fact that the Strait of Georgia is the busiest waterway in Canada. The petitioners feel that this dive team should be reinstated.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is a petition regarding the Canadian involvement in the United States national missile defence program. It is based on the premise that the missile defence program is a unilateral initiative by the United States government based on the premise taken from the United States command document “Take Vision for 2020” which states “dominating the space dimension of military operations and integrating space forces into war fighting capabilities”.

The petitioners call upon parliament to declare that Canada objects to the national missile defence program of the United States. Second, they call on parliament to play a leadership role in banning nuclear weapons and missile flight tests.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from citizens of the Peterborough area who are concerned about the overuse of pesticides on residential landscapes and public green spaces. The petitioners point out that the Canadian Cancer Association, the lung association and others have shown there is a strong link between such pesticides and physical ailments such as childhood leukemia and other cancers. It lowers the immune system and damages pituitary and thyroid glands.

Therefore, these petitioners call upon parliament to enact an immediate moratorium on the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides until such time as their use has been scientifically proven to be safe and the long term consequences of their application are known.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition in the series that I have been presenting from citizens of the Peterborough area who would like to see VIA Rail service restored between Toronto and Peterborough. The petitioners point to the environmental advantages of this, the reduction of greenhouse emissions and the reduction in accidents on the highways. They also point to the advantages for our community as a business centre, a tourism centre and educational centre.

I was delighted that today in Toronto in response to these petitions, the Minister of Transport has given a clear indication that this service may well in the near future be restored between Toronto and Peterborough.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 46 and 48. .[Text]

Question No. 46—

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

With respect to finalized claims as a result of hearings at the Immigration and Refugee Board: ( a ) what is the average approval rate resulting from the hearings for the years 1995 to 2000; ( b ) are there any differences between Canada's approval rate and those of the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom; and ( c ) if so, why?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Insofar as Citizenship and Immigration is concerned, the following table shows the results of refugee claims finalized by the Immigration and Refugee Board from 1995 to 2000.

With regards to the question of how Canada's acceptance rate compares to that of other countries, it is almost impossible to provide meaningful comparisons since refugee determination systems vary significantly among refugee receiving countries. For example, in some countries, such as the United States and in Australia, there is more than one institution that can determine refugee status. In other countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, more than one type of status may be granted. Finally, international comparisons are made difficult by the widely varying mix of source countries among the various receiving states. That being said, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, the recognized body on refugee data, produces an annual report that provides information on approvals, rejections and other status decisions.

Differences in approval rates are the result of many factors. For example, in some countries the composition of asylum seekers now includes more persons in need of protection than is the case in other countries. Interpretation of the Geneva Convention, based as well on national jurisprudence, may vary from one country to another.

Question No. 48—

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

With regard to the installation of Rogers and Seacoast Communication' towers and transmitters in Colwood, B.C.: ( a ) did Industry Canada comply with their own rules in the granting of approvals; ( b ) if not, has Industry Canada taken corrective action and instructed the owners to relocate their towers; and ( c ) did the Minister of Industry consult with the municipality of Colwood?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario

Liberal

John Cannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

(a) The antenna towers in question were authorized by Industry Canada in accordance with the procedures and standards in place for this purpose. Our requirements regarding the radio station application process, compliance with Health Canada's safety code 6, and municipal land use consultation procedures were met prior to the issuance of approval by Industry Canada. Letters to the city of Colwood from the assistant deputy minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications, as well as our local director have explained the department's process and position with regard to the approval of these radio towers.

(b) Not applicable.

(c) Industry Canada's procedures require consultation between the applicant and the land use authority so that the land use authority is aware of significant antenna proposed within its boundaries and has an opportunity to make its views known. The mandatory notification and consultation with the city of Colwood did take place prior to the issuance of these authorizations. In this case, no concerns were raised to Industry Canada during this consultation process. The local bylaws provided for radio transmission towers as a permitted use and building permits were issued by the municipality. Industry Canada officials have been in contact with the city of Colwood on this matter and continue with ongoing communications with the municipality.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

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

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-3, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987 and to make consequential amendments to other acts, be read the third time and passed.

Motor Vehicle Transport ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was responding of course in comment to the speech given by the member for Prince George—Peace River. I was talking about the fact that during my intervention earlier I talked about having a dual light system to increase the safety so that vehicles and drivers could stop before entering an intersection when the light was red and before the momentum of the vehicle made it impossible to stop with the normal brake reaction time. I was glad to put that on the record.

I am proposing that both the amber and the green lights be shown at a point indicated by a sign well back from the intersection. Then everybody, whether it is a motorcyclist or a truck driver, would have enough time to plan to stop at the next light. Any person who was behind the sign would have to stop. Anybody who was ahead of the sign when both lights came on would of course know that he could make it safely through. On the other hand, the amber only light would indicate that now it was time to stop because the next phase would be the red light, which comes in one and a half, or two seconds or whatever it is.

Having done that, the hon. member may want to respond to my proposal. If not, I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to complete my speech, because I ran out of time before.

Motor Vehicle Transport ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Elk Island for in effect finishing his speech. I note that as the first speaker for the opposition, he had some 40 minutes to speak.

I followed the circuitous routing of his speech throughout the 40 minutes with great interest. He raised a lot of very relevant topics, one of which was to enlighten the House to a certain extent with his own personal experience as a former truck driver quite some years ago. I think he referred to ox carts and dirt trails or something like that.

At any rate he raised a number of interesting issues, one of which was the safety issue of our intersections. All joking aside it is a very serious issue as he noted. The results of that are innumerable accidents, many of them involving death or substantial serious injury over the years at our intersections. He proposed a very interesting potential way to help alleviate some of those accidents, and I certainly support his thinking in that regard.

I think it is quite appropriate because the issue that we are discussing of course is the need for national safety regulations as it pertains to trucking and buses. I want to use a bit of time now to use an example, as he did when he used several examples during his intervention, to talk about how ridiculous it is to have different regulations from province to province.

Last summer I was made aware of an incident in my riding of Prince George—Peace River involving a bus of tourists. Of course tourism is a very important industry in British Columbia, in particular northern British Columbia. We always welcome and try to extend western and northern hospitality to all tourists who make it up to the beautiful riding of Prince George—Peace River and the Peace River area of Alberta and British Columbia.

In this particular instance a bus of tourists from Quebec travelled all the way across Canada. Of course as such the bus had to stop at weigh scales as it travelled across the provincial boundaries and borders. Then it arrived in the Peace River district of British Columbia. When they pulled into the weigh scale at the city of Dawson Creek, lo and behold they found out that they were overweight. They were fine in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

They were to travel up the Alaska Highway to Yukon and Alaska as part of their summer trip. Many of them had planned this for probably a year in advance. They were quite excited about this trip up the Alaska Highway, but when they got to mile zero of the Alaska Highway the bus was brought to a standstill because the regulations concerning the maximum vehicle weight for buses is different in British Columbia.

They tried to sort it out. We can imagine a busload of tourists held up and inconvenienced. They have places they have to be at certain times. Their schedule is planned for meals and for overnight stays at hotels on up the route. There they were stopped at a weigh scale in Dawson Creek.

Finally they had to hire an old school bus, in effect, and offload the luggage from their Greyhound style sightseeing bus onto the school bus, which carried the luggage behind them and followed them to Alaska or at least until they got out of British Columbia. I do not know what happened when they crossed the border into the Yukon. Maybe they loaded all the luggage back onto the bus and carried on, but for that 500 miles or so from Dawson Creek to the Yukon border they had to have this extra vehicle.

We can imagine what this does for tourism. I see that my colleague from the Liberal Party who represents the Yukon is here. Maybe he could add some words to this debate. We can imagine what that type of inconvenience does for the tourist industry in northern British Columbia and on into the Yukon and Alaska.

It is more than appropriate that where there are genuine safety concerns we have uniformity and harmonization of trucking and bus regulations and safety rules, with the national safety code harmonized across the country. What I am trying to allude to is that there is a need for it in very practical and economic terms, certainly in the area of tourism. That is the real point I am trying to make with this story.

With that I will conclude and see if anyone else would like to add something to this debate about the national safety code and the need for harmonized trucking and busing regulations across our country.

Motor Vehicle Transport ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I would like to agree with the sentiments that were just expressed about the border between Yukon and British Columbia, and not just related to the safety code. For years we have had complaints from truckers about regulations in B.C. that make it very difficult for Yukon truckers to simply carry a load across the border.

I think it is part of a proliferation of internal trade barriers, which my colleagues across the way have also referred to. I brought to the attention of some of the witnesses in committee that I hoped they would try to diminish these internal trade barriers which really cut down on commerce in the country and specifically in my constituency of Yukon.

Motor Vehicle Transport ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the comments of my colleague from Yukon. As he indicated, there are ongoing problems. As I indicated earlier as the representative for Prince George—Peace River, the Alaska Highway starts in and travels hundreds of miles throughout my riding before it enters the riding of the hon. member for Yukon and carries on through to Alaska. There are some problems with the different regulations, which he alludes to. I think it is incumbent upon all territorial and provincial governments, along with the federal government, to resolve this. The example I used of the one busload of tourists from Quebec is simply one specific example.

For example, north of Fort Nelson and up toward the Yukon there are load restrictions in spring, restrictions that really limit truckers to a very small portion of what otherwise would be a legal load for their trucks. That raises the cost of produce, especially fresh produce that obviously all citizens need for a balanced diet, during the winter months especially. During the spring road restrictions, the costs of those products go up correspondingly because the trucks can only haul a portion of what they could otherwise haul.

I think it really points to a need for, dare I mention it again, greater investment by governments in the infrastructure and the road network. The Alaska Highway is one example of where there is a substantial need for investment.

Is the House ready for the question?

Motor Vehicle Transport ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.