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House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airports.

Topics

Genetically Modified OrganismsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, quite clearly, the government recognizes that labelling genetically modified foods to support consumer choice is an important issue for those consumers. Health Canada will continue to work with the standards board committee to develop a standard for the voluntary labelling of foods derived from biotechnology.

Canada PostOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is the newest minister, the minister responsible for Canada Post.

In 1994 the Liberal government announced a commitment that not one single small town or rural post office would close. I have been told by Canada Post that the closure of the Hubbard post office in my riding and two others in Saskatchewan is likely to occur.

Will the minister make a commitment to the people of Hubbard and the people in other Saskatchewan communities that their post offices will remain open and that the moratorium will stay in effect, yes or no?

Canada PostOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Mississauga West Ontario

Liberal

Steve Mahoney LiberalSecretary of State (Selected Crown Corporations)

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member that Canada Post, which of course is an arm's length crown corporation with an obligation to all Canadians, is committed, along with its employees, to maintaining a high level of service to Canadians living in rural Canada.

Canada Post is also proud to have recently reached a new collective agreement with the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association. I would be pleased to work with the member on his specific case to see if we can satisfy his concerns.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are news reports that the Minister of National Defence has made a commitment to Liberal MPs that he will give them as much information as possible on what is at stake under the missile defence plan.

Would the Prime Minister care to make that same commitment to all members of Parliament? Would he also commit to a full debate and a vote on any Canadian contribution to missile defence before Canada makes any commitments abroad?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is an opposition day tomorrow and there is one next week. The minister will be in the House and this debate will continue and information will be given.

However, I am very pleased that members of Parliament on my side, long before the Tories, have shown interest in that file.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

May 7th, 2003 / 3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 81(14), to inform the House that the motion to be considered tomorrow during the consideration of the business of supply is as follows:

That this House call upon the government to bring in measures to protect and reassert the will of Parliament against certain court decisions that: (a) threaten the traditional definition of marriage as decided by the House as, “the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”; (b) grant house arrest to child sexual predators and make it easier for child sexual predators to produce and possess child pornography; and (c) grant prisoners the right to vote.

This motion standing in the name of the hon. member for Provencher is not votable.

Copies of the motion are available at the table.

Foreign Affairs and International TradeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32 I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade entitled “Partners in North America: Advancing Canada's Relations with the United States and Mexico”.

The committee, when it prepared this report and had it printed, initiated an interesting and innovative policy. The committee had it published not only in French and English but in Spanish as well since it addresses our Mexican colleagues. It shows how interested the members of our committees are from all parts of the House in working to advance our interests throughout all of the Americas.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the 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 10 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34 I have the honour to present to the House a report from the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the bilateral visit to Guernsey from March 23 to March 28, 2003.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the unanimous third report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration regarding our provincial nominee agreements.

I want to thank the witnesses and the hard work of the committee as we travelled across the country to ensure that immigration benefits all parts of the country, small town Canada as well as urban centres. We look forward to working with the provincial governments and other communities to ensure that this objective can be reached.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the First Report of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-17, Public Safety Act 2002.

I would like to thank, in particular, Jean-Michel Roy, committee clerk and his administrative assistant, Nancy McKnight.

Also, I wish to thank Susan Baldwin, legislative clerk, Richard Rumas, committee clerk, and Margaret Young and David Goetz, analysts from the Library of Parliament. And, of course, all the officials and the witnesses who made our work so efficient and effective, and particularly members of Parliament from all parties who worked very hard to make this report possible at this time.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-434, an act to amend the Criminal Code (consecutive sentence for use of firearm in commission of offence).

Mr. Speaker, this bill is otherwise known as the 10-20 life law for the simple reason that what it would do is require a judge to add 10 years to the sentence of someone who commits an indictable offence by brandishing a firearm while doing so.

Second, if the firearm is discharged in the commission of that offence, the judge would be required to add 20 years to the sentence and if someone other than the perpetrator of the crime or an accomplice is injured by the discharge of that firearm the judge would be required to add a life sentence.

This is an effort to target the criminal use of firearms instead of targeting law-abiding farmers, hunters, sport shooters, and collectors of firearms which the Liberals are doing through the firearm registry.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of the people of eastern Ontario who state that hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffer from debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimers, diabetes, cancer, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injury; and that Canadians do support ethical stem cell research, which has already shown encouraging potential cures and therapies for these illnesses; and that non-embryonic stem cells, which are also known as adult stem cells, have shown significant research progress.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to find the cures and therapies necessary to treat the illnesses and diseases of suffering Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 it is my privilege to present to the House a petition signed by close to 100 concerned citizens of my riding of Cambridge.

In Canada one out of four children dies before birth from induced abortion. More than half of all Canadians agree that human life needs protection prior to birth and yet there is still no law protecting unborn children.

The petitioners pray and request that Parliament enact legislation that would provide legal recognition and protection of children from fertilization to birth.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by a number of my constituents who are concerned that sexual orientation as an explicitly protected category may be added under sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code and its effect on religious freedoms.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to protect the rights of Canadians to be free to share their religious beliefs without fear of persecution.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today. The first petition deals with the funding of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that it is unethical to harm or destroy some human beings in order to benefit others, and also that adult stem cell research holds enormous potential.

The petitioners request that Parliament ban embryonic research and direct the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support and fund only promising ethical research that does not involve the destruction of human life.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on the subject matter of child pornography.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that the creation and use of child pornography is condemned by a clear majority of Canadians, and that the courts have not applied the current child pornography law in a way which makes it clear that such exploitation of children will always be met with swift punishment.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote child pornography are outlawed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final petition I wish to present today is on the subject of stem cell research.

The petitioners draw to the attention of the House that Canadians do support ethical stem cell research which has already shown encouraging potential. They also point out that non-embryonic stem cells, also known as adult stem cells, have shown significant research progress without the immune rejection or ethical problems associated with embryonic stem cells.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to find the necessary cures and therapies for ailing Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by several hundred petitioners from Saskatoon and area with respect to the defence of marriage.

Being that the majority of Canadians believe that fundamental matters of social policy should be decided by elected members of Parliament and not the unelected judiciary, the petitioners ask Parliament to do all it can to ensure that the current legal definition of marriage as the voluntary union of a single male and a single female, as so defined and as it has always been known and legally affirmed, be preserved and protected, and that all measures, even to the point of invoking section 33 of the charter, the notwithstanding clause, be used to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I am pleased to present a petition from a number of my constituents and other Londoners.

These petitioners call upon Parliament to pass specific legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I am happy to add my signature to this petition before I turn it over to the officers.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition of approximately 100 names calling upon Parliament to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from my constituents concerning child pornography. They call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present four petitions. The first two petitions deal with the traditional meaning of marriage and contain several hundred signatures of people throughout Prince George--Bulkley Valley.

The petitioners pray that Parliament legislate an opposite sex requirement for the institution of marriage and that marriage be restricted to being between one man and one woman.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the other two petitions deal with the issue of stem cell research. The petitioners are very fearful that the government will some day pass legislation that will allow embryonic stem cell research.

The petitioners point out the fact that adult stem cells show significant research progress and accomplishment and that there is no need to go to embryonic stem cells. Therefore they call on Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to find the cures and therapies necessary to treat many diseases.

Mr. Speaker, I understand members cannot support a petition publicly but if I could, you know I would.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition in the House today that has in excess of 500 Kitchener and area residents' signatures asking Parliament to enact legislation to enable businesses and corporations to supply public transit passes to their employees as a tax exempt benefit, similar to free parking space.

Taking advantage of public transit and reducing personal automobile reliance are excellent ways that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.

The petitioners call on Parliament to acknowledge that a parking space is an allowable tax incentive for businesses and of comparable value to a tax exemption for public transit passes.