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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Industry CanadaOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, this is certainly a matter that deserves consideration. I will ask the commissioner of the Competition Bureau to look into it.

Ethics CommissionerOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has chosen Dr. Bernard Shapiro as the new ethics commissioner. Oh yes, there are a few formalities to complete: an interview by a Liberal dominated committee and a vote by a Liberal dominated House. However, beyond that, it is a done deal.

We asked for an equitable process involving all political parties in the House. How does the Prime Minister justify ignoring all calls to make this a truly independent, non-partisan appointment?

Ethics CommissionerOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the act, the opposition party leaders must be consulted, which was done. Then the House must vote, which it will once the committee has tabled its report. We went even further. The matter was referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for consideration.

No process is more responsible and more deeply rooted in democracy. There is no point in pretending otherwise, when it is quite obvious how the process worked. It is perfectly clear, transparent and respectful of our democratic reform.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the dispute between Canadian Heritage and Édith Gendron, the Minister of Canadian Heritage keeps on evading the issue and refuses to take a position.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage finally accept her responsibilities and tell us just how Ms. Gendron's position as president of the organization Le Québec, un pays constitutes a conflict of interest with her administration of French courses for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia? Where exactly does the minister see the conflict here?

Public ServiceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I repeat what I have said the past two times I was asked about this matter. This is a matter between the department and an employee, a human resources matter. There will be no interference. I have given no directive, nor will I in future.

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the government and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that its main mandate is the protection of fish and fish habitat but it appears that DFO has now changed its name to the department for oil.

The department's own scientists say that there are down to 130 northern bottlenose whales left in the world and they are off Sable Island Gully right now. The government's own scientists say that these animals should be protected under an endangered species act but the government refuses to act because it may interfere in oil and gas exploration.

My question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Why are these 130 bottlenose whales not protected?

Fisheries and OceansOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should know first that the marine protected area for the Gully was announced last year for that exact reason, the protection of bottlenose whales and other species.

Extended consultation periods are required for species whose listing could have significant and widespread impacts on the activities of aboriginal peoples and commercial and recreational fishers, farmers and others.

The fact is that stakeholders need to be clearly informed of the potential impacts of the listings and given a chance to advise the government of their opinions, including ways to protect the species and help them recover.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

To conclude question period, I have a question. On Thursday the deputy government House leader raised a point of order alleging that the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby was in the House earlier that day taking photographs.

I wonder if the member for New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby could clarify the situation for the House in respect of that point of order?

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, this question comes as a complete surprise to me.

Normally I believe the Speaker would notify me that such a question would be given. It is interesting that we are on national television, that even the side comments are taken by the people at the desk and that often we have at least two staff photographers loaded with cameras walking around taking pictures every which way, which is very nice.

It sounds to me as though the member over there is concerned whether we have a cell phone, a Blackberry, a computer or whether the cell phone now has the capability of taking a picture.

I took pictures without a flash following the protocol of the House. I feel it was a silly matter for the House leader to raise. He never phoned me and never talked to me. He raised the issue and that is the case of the matter.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member may be unaware but it is the practice that pictures not be taken in the House. Pictures are not permitted from the public galleries of the House. The only two people who are allowed to take pictures and sometimes three are the official photographers who do, as the hon. member indicated, take pictures during proceedings in the House.

Previous Speakers have ruled that it is out of order for members to take photographs during House proceedings and, indeed, have seized films and cameras from members who have done so.

I hope the hon. member will bring out the pictures that he has taken and see that they are disposed of in accordance with the usual practice since I do not think it is proper for hon. members to do that.

There are certain rules and guidelines applicable to those who are permitted to take photographs in the House. I think if the hon. member were to consult with his House leader or whip he would get the appropriate advice as well.

I am sorry to shock the member without notice but I assumed he was aware of the point of order raised in Hansard last Thursday. I understood he would not be rising in the House on his own, hence my question.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I trust then that you will also chastise the member for Mississauga South whom I have observed taking pictures in the House.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

One of the precedents I referred to in saying there were precedents involved the hon. member for Mississauga South. I did chastise him and he indicated to the House at the time that he had erased the pictures and destroyed any that were printed.

The Chair feels reasonably comfortable on that score. I believe that practice has stopped.

We will deal with that in due course. I trust we will hear further, if necessary, from the deputy government House leader.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 26th, 2004 / 3 p.m.

Sarnia—Lambton Ontario

Liberal

Roger Gallaway LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-32, an act to amend the Criminal Code (drugs and impaired driving) and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.

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

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates in accordance with its order of reference of Tuesday, February 24, 2004.

Your committee has considered vote 10 under Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, vote 100 under Canadian Heritage and vote 40 under Justice in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, and reports the same without amendment.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding democratic reform.

I have the honour also to present the 22nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the question of privilege relating to the disclosure of confidential proceedings of an Ontario Liberal caucus meeting. I would point out that this report includes some reconciliation of the French language and English language text.

I have the honour to present the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding provisional Standing Order 36(8)(b). If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 23rd report later this day.

Canada Business Corporations ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-517, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (qualification of auditor).

Mr. Speaker, in the interests of good corporate governance and in trying to restore investor confidence in our equity stock markets, I am introducing this bill that would change the Canada Business Corporations Act so that an auditor would be unable to provide other financial services to a company that he or she was auditing. In other words, the bill would ensure the independence of auditors who provide the financial statements on a business.

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

Canada Business Corporations ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-518, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (annual financial statements).

Mr. Speaker, further on our theme of introducing good corporate governance and trying to instill investor confidence, especially for institutional pension investors, the bill seeks to change the Canada Business Corporations Act to outlaw the practice of providing loans and guarantees to directors and officers of corporations.

It also dictates that if the company is using shares and stock options as part of the executive compensation of a company, those shares and options have to be listed in the expense column of the financial statements.

We also further ask for changes to the Canada Business Corporations Act in terms of offences that would be created for failing to provide information dealing with the financial condition of the company, and also provide restitution of money to persons who may have suffered financial losses as a result of the conduct of the corporation or its auditors or its directors, and the forfeiture of certain bonuses and profits from those directors and officers if they are not completely forthright in their annual financial statements of the company.

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

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I rise today to present a petition signed by several hundreds of residents of the North Shore region. This petition is in addition to the numerous petitions already tabled in the House regarding employment insurance.

Every year, this issue affects an increasing number of people. The softwood lumber crisis is making the number of unemployed swell, but the government is constantly postponing a fair reform to adequately support workers.

These people have been asking for years that employment insurance benefits be increased, but the government has yet to react. Therefore, the petitioners are hoping that Parliament will bring pressure to bear on the federal government to end transitional measures, increase workers' benefits and adopt a universal employment insurance plan.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present a petition signed by over 500 of my constituents. The petitioners call upon Parliament to immediately reaffirm, as it did in 1999, the commitment to take all necessary steps to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions today. The first petition is on the issue of stem cells. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that Canadians do support ethical stem cell research, which has already shown encouraging potential, and 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.

They, therefore, call upon Parliament to support adult stem cell research to find the cures and therapies for Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on Bill C-250, the hate crimes bill. The petitioners want to bring to the attention of the House that Bill C-250 is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation brought before the House. It must not be passed in law because it would threaten all those opposed to special rights for homosexuals, including same sex marriage, with prosecution on the basis of alleged hate.

The petitioners, therefore, petition Parliament to stop the passage of Bill C-250 as it would severely limit the religious freedom and freedom of speech of all Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final petition is on the subject matter of marriage. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that protecting the moral good of society is a natural and serious obligation of elected officials and cannot be left only to religious leaders or institutions. They also point out that the defence of the traditional marriage as the bond between one man and one woman is a serious and moral good.

They, therefore, call upon Parliament to maintain the current definition of marriage in law in perpetuity and to prevent any court from overturning or amending that definition.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to bring forward a petition on behalf of my constituents who note that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has ceased funding for SMART, the only specialized service in the Durham region that assists women who have lived with abuse and violence to move toward gainful employment and economic independence.

These 370 petitioners, therefore, pray that Parliament enact legislation against ceasing funding for SMART.