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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ukrainian.

Topics

SudanOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Pickering—Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Dan McTeague LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know how passionately the hon. member for Mississauga--Brampton South is concerned with this issue, as we are in the House.

I want to assure the hon. member and every member in the House of Commons that the Prime Minister will continue to press urgently for a resolution to this conflict. This of course will be one of the issues he raises next week when he meets with the Sudanese president.

I want to also inform the hon. member that we have taken a number of initiatives at the United Nations with respect to the Security Council members in support of a resolution that enhanced the African Union mission and $20 million to help in that effort.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, a report by Canada's Association for the FiftyPlus says seniors are being shortchanged $1 billion by the CPP fund. A comedy of errors, including missing records and confusing terminology, is preventing one in six seniors from receiving their full CPP payout. That is not funny.

CPP provides retirement income and financial help for seniors. Sixteen million people contribute to the fund which is managed by the Liberal government.

My question for the minister is, when will the government clean up its act and give the money back to the seniors who desperately need it?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, 4.4 million recipients get payments each month from the CPP. Out of these, since 1999 when the last audit was done, 99.8% of the recipients received the fair amount. Social Development Canada offers all Canadians, free of charge unlike the RPI, that any assessment required for the dropout rate be considered. It will be done free of charge to ensure that they are getting their due.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the new Poet Laureate of Parliament, Pauline Michel, and the outgoing parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Bowering.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I invite hon. members to join them in room 216-N for a reception.

Business of SupplyOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to Standing Order 81(14), it is my duty to inform the House of the motion to be considered tomorrow during the consideration of the business of supply.

That the House call on the government to take the appropriate measures to sell the 11,000 acres of arable land back to the families and farmers whose land was expropriated to build the Mirabel Airport.

This motion, standing in the name of the hon. member for Calgary Southwest, is votable.

Copies of the motion are available at the Table.

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage is rising on a point of order.

Business of SupplyPoints of Order

3:05 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to a question from the hon. member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin on the Métis and the contribution that had been given. It should be noted that we have been funding aboriginal organizations for more than 30 years.

However, the Department of Canadian Heritage had approved core funding for the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan before the Lampard report was published. Future payments have been suspended until the report has been read and the findings released.

Thus, no payments will be made.

Business of SupplyPoints of Order

3:05 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Conservative

John Reynolds ConservativeHouse Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, during question period today and during one of the answers from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the minister made some comments. You may not have heard them because there was a lot of noise at the time, but she said things like “sit down and shut up”.

I think it is the Speaker's role in the House to tell members when they should sit down and when they should be quiet, and you may do it in different language. Also, I think the member talked about being out of order, and that is also the Speaker's purview.

I would like to ask the Speaker to review the comments made by the member and if they were not in order, to maybe advise her of that at the next sitting of the House.

Business of SupplyPoints of Order

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I will be happy to review the comments.

PrivilegePoints of Order

3:10 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to the question of privilege put forward by the member for Central Nova stating that I had deliberately misled the House through false information. It is one that I take very seriously and one to which I want to respond.

On Friday, November 19, I stated the following:

Mr. Speaker, I have asked the ethics commissioner to give me advice on whether or not I have breached any of the ethical codes, but I would like to tell the member something else.

The deputy leader of the Conservative Party requested a permit a couple of weeks after the election for a personal friend. I have since learned that the hon. member's personal friend was a former Conservative candidate and has been a big political contributor to the Conservative Party. I guess I should have asked, did he not work on the campaign.

That was exactly what I said. I would like to clarify that a little bit further. My sentence could have been, and I will rephrase it for the clarity of the House, “Did they work on the Conservative campaign”.

In answering the question, I was not trying to attack the integrity of any member of the House or to provide misleading information. I was simply trying to point out that in dealing with people's lives, as we do in immigration, partisan politics is simply not the basis for my intervention. By asking a rhetorical question, my intention was to demonstrate that the process was not influenced by politics. I was attempting to illustrate that I judged each case based on its merits, no matter which member brought it forward to my attention. It is not a question of fact, but of misunderstanding.

When the hon. member's staff called my office on August 13, my office was led to understand that this individual was a friend of the member. The person who was the member's friend was making representation on behalf of the applicant. The applicant was not the member's friend, but the member's friend was the person representing the applicant.

Therefore, I return to my original point: Politics did not impact my decision. It was on the merits of the case that I intervened, as I do on all of these cases.

PrivilegePoints of Order

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I have taken this matter under advisement and will continue to do so in light of the comments from the hon. minister.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc 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 four petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the first report of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament regarding its mandate and forum. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the first report later this day.

Marriage Capacity ActRoutine Proceedings

November 24th, 2004 / 3:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-300, an act to amend the Divorce Act, the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act and the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my private member's bill, an act to amend the Divorce Act, the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act and the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act, which would establish equal access to civil marriage and divorce for gay and lesbian couples in Canada.

The bill seeks to recognize the loving relationships, responsible commitments and full equality of gay and lesbian couples. It also recognizes the decisions of 19 judges in 7 provincial and territorial jurisdictions that the current laws do not conform with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I would urge the government to make this bill unnecessary by having the courage of its new found convictions and introducing its own amendments without delay.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Canadians from coast to coast, I will persist in presenting these petitions every chance I get. This one is from the citizens of Windsor, Ontario who wish to again draw attention of the elected House of Commons to the fact that many of our military families live in on base housing, that many of these homes are below acceptable living standards and that they are also subject to ongoing rent increases.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to immediately suspend any future rent increases for accommodation provided by the Canadian Forces Housing Agency until the Government of Canada makes substantive improvements to the living conditions of housing that is provided for our military families.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the residents of Newton—North Delta to present a petition signed by a huge number of members of St. Bernadette Church in Surrey, B.C. as part of the White Ribbon Against Pornography campaign. The petitioners urge Parliament to stop the flood tide of obscenity pouring into our nation's communities and homes, especially through the Internet.

Since this petition is very long and signed on a ribbon, I would ask for unanimous consent to accept it in this format. I know it is not in the usual format that we table petitions.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member for Newton—North Delta have the unanimous consent of the House to table the petition, notwithstanding the irregularities in respect of the petition?

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson Conservative St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the people of Campobello Island, New Brunswick and surrounding area. The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to say no to the construction of an LNG terminal in Eastport, Maine, U.S.A. The key to this is that terminal can only go ahead if we allow the passage of tankers through internal Canadian waters.

The petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to do what it did 30 years ago in similar circumstances when a proposal of that nature was being considered in the United States of America. We said no to the passage of those tankers through internal Canadian water.

These people understand the risk to the environment, to our citizens, and are asking the Government of Canada to say no to the transport of LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage, Canada.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to present two petitions today.

The first petition is signed by residents of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland who point out that the U.S. missile defence would incite a new nuclear arms race and put weapons in space.

The petitioners point out that Canadian citizens, including Victoria, Vancouver and Nanaimo, Burnaby, Sparwood, Bowen Island and Grand Forks have passed resolutions opposing Canada's participation in the U.S. missile defence. They call upon Parliament to oppose it as well.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by residents who want to draw attention to the House that our marijuana laws are terribly outdated, beginning with the Le Dain Commission over 30 years ago. The House has been called upon repeatedly to enact reforms.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to modernize Canada's marijuana laws to create a legal environment where adults can enjoy marijuana in a responsible manner.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Perhaps before questions on the order paper, I might ask if you would seek unanimous consent of the House to revert back to motions. The hon. member for Thornhill did not correctly hear you call for motions and she indicated that she might ask for unanimous consent to accept a report of the joint committee on the Library of Parliament.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to revert to motions?

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.