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House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition from citizens who ask that the Government of Canada amend the Canada Health Act and regulations to include IBI and ABA therapy for children with autism as a medically necessary treatment and require that all provinces provide or fund this treatment for autism.

Also, they ask that the government create academic chairs at universities across Canada so every Canadian with autism will be able to receive the very best treatment possible.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the citizens of Prince Edward Island. They are calling on the government to return to its previous policy of allowing holy books to be made available to new citizens at citizenship ceremonies around this country.

Last year a citizenship judge terminated this policy alleging that the policy discriminated against non-religious immigrants. Until last year holy books were simply displayed on tables at the back of the hall, free for new citizens to take. The new citizens were not handed the books. The books were not forced on them. The judge produced no evidence to justify his inappropriate decision to ban the availability of holy books.

The petitioners ask that the Citizenship Commission return to the previous policy which served our multicultural nation so well.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House with three certified petitions from my riding of Leeds—Grenville. The first is from Kemptville Pentecostal Tabernacle. The second is from the Gananoque Calvary Pentecostal Church. The third is from Highway Pentecostal Church in Brockville. They all request that the House define marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present 35 petitions with over 2,330 signatures. They are all from Langley residents. The petitioners state that traditional marriage between a man and a woman is the God ordained building block of the family and the bedrock of a civil society. Therefore, they urge that Parliament protect the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to present a petition on behalf of a significant number of Canadians, including many from my own riding of Calgary Centre on the subject of marriage.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House their prayer that Parliament define marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a number of petitions today. I will group them together in the interest of time.

They come from groups representing the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in Prince George, the Fort George Baptist Church in Prince George, the First Baptist Church in Prince George, Joan Skuggedal of Prince George, Miss Edith Parkin of Cariboo—Prince George, Judy Black of Quesnel, and the Nechako Community Church of Vanderhoof, B.C. All of the petitioners pray that Parliament define marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

I know that we are not allowed to express our personal views, but if we were, I would support these petitions.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I would urge all members not to express their opinions but to simply table the petitions.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions today pursuant to Standing Order 36. Both are signed by residents of Alberta.

The petitioners support the current legal definition of marriage as the voluntary union of a single male and a single female. They call upon Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including section 33 of the charter, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to submit many more names to the long list of thousands of names I have already submitted with regard to marriage. Most of these come from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The petitioners state that throughout history strong families have been the essential basic unit of all successful societies and that traditional marriage as defined as the union of a man and a woman has always been a critical institution of promoting and protecting strong families. They state that legalizing same sex marriage in Canada would undermine traditional marriage and society, and would undermine support for families as well.

The petitioners ask that Canadians concerned about our future urge the government leaders to do whatever is necessary to preserve traditional marriage in Canada.

I have quite a number of these petitions.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I also have petitions on another topic, euthanasia, which come mainly from the town of Langenburg in my constituency. The petitioners look to section 241 of the Criminal Code as making it against the law to counsel or aid anyone in committing suicide. They point to the Rodriguez case as finding no charter right to suicide. If section 241 were struck down or amended,such protection would no longer exist.

The petitioners petition Parliament to retain section 241 of the Criminal Code without changes in order that Parliament not sanction or allow counselling, aiding or abetting of suicide whether by personal action or the Internet.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present petitions on behalf of constituents.

The petitioners state that on important fundamental social policy issues Parliament should make the decisions, not the courts. They further state that the current legal definition of marriage as the voluntary union of a single male and a single female should be left in place. They petition Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including invoking section 33 of the charter, to preserve the current definition of marriage.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

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

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and the Salaries Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, as reported (with amendment) from the committee.

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

March 23rd, 2005 / 3:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I would like to remind hon. members that today's debate will be governed by the provisional changes to the Standing Orders which came into effect on March 7, 2005.

Almost all speeches are now followed by a questions and comments period.

For today's debate at report stage of Bill C-30, all members will have a 10 minute period for debate followed by a 5 minute question and comment period.

There is one motion in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-30.

Motion No. 1 will be debated and voted upon.

I will now put Motion No. 1 to the House.

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire LiberalMinister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

moved:

That Bill C-30, in Clause 6, be amended by:

(a) adding after line 27 on page 4 the following:

“(f.1) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Deputy Government Whip in the Senate, $5,200;

(f.2) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate, $3,100;

(f.3) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Chair of the Caucus of the Government in the Senate, $6,100;

(f.4) the member of the Senate occupying the position of Chair of the Caucus of the Opposition in the Senate, $5,200;”

(b) by adding after line 3 on page 5 the following:

“(j.1) the member occupying the position of Deputy Whip of a party that has a recognized membership of twelve or more persons in the House of Commons, $5,200; ”

(c) by replacing line 6 on page 5 with the following:

“Commons, $35,300;

(k.1) the member occupying the position of Deputy House Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, unless the member is in receipt of a salary under the Salaries Act or section 62.2 of this Act, $14,300;

(k.2) the member occupying the position of Deputy House Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, $14,300;”

(d) by adding after line 10 on page 5 the following:

“(m) the member occupying the position of Deputy House Leader of a party that has a recognized membership of twelve or more persons in the House of Commons, $5,200;

(n) each of the members occupying the positions of Chair of the Caucus of the Government and Chair of the Caucus of the Opposition in the House of Commons, $10,100; and

(o) the member occupying the position of Chair of the Caucus of a party that has a recognized membership of twelve or more persons in the House of Commons, $5,200.”

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise at third reading of Bill C-30 regarding the salaries of parliamentarians.

First, I want to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for closely reviewing this legislation. I am also pleased that the committee reported on this bill with the support of members—

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The opposition House leader on a point of order.

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I apologize to my colleague for interrupting his remarks, but if I heard correctly as I was listening through the translation, it appeared as though he was speaking to third reading of Bill C-30, not to the amendment that you, Mr. Speaker, just read into the record. I wonder if he could clarify that.

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I did not catch that one way or another. Perhaps the hon. member would clarify that. We are dealing with the amendments at this time, but obviously the parliamentary secretary can speak to the intent of the bill as well.

Parliament of Canada ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the opposition House leader for his comments. Because I know that members are so enthusiastic to give the bill third reading and passage, perhaps I was ahead of myself. The opposition House leader is absolutely correct. We will be addressing the report stage amendments and obviously I will be talking about the very worthy merits of the legislation.

I was saying that I am also delighted the committee reported back with the support of members of the NDP and the official opposition.

All the members know that, currently, parliamentary compensation is tied to compensation for the judiciary. Last September, the government promised that the changes to parliamentary compensation would reflect the average salary increase of Canadians. Bill C-30 follows up on this commitment.

In this bill, changes to parliamentary compensation are tied to the annual average wage settlement index, published by Human Resources and Skills Development. This index tracks annual pay increases in the private sector.

In particular, the index includes over 400 collective agreements for over 800,000 employees across Canada.It is published every February documenting the wage changes of the previous calendar year.

This index is widely regarded as an authoritative measure. It is used by governments, private sector employers and unions, including the Canadian Auto Workers, the Teamsters and the Confédération des syndicats nationaux.

As the government House leader has said before, linking parliamentary compensation to this index is the right thing to do, for three reasons.

First, it is a fair way to ensure that parliamentarians' salaries are adjusted in line with the changes received by Canadians. The former House leader for the official opposition said during second reading debate of this bill that “the private sector wage settlement process is a very good one”. He thinks “Canadians can accept that”. We on this side of the House agree with those sentiments.

Second, the index is a well-known, respected and predictable measure.

Third, members of this House have recognized that we should not be linked to an index that includes the public sector, because we could be in a situation where the government is negotiating compensation levels for public sector unions or other groups or where Parliament must legislate public sector wages. If these negotiations or such legislation were to affect our own salaries, then obviously this would appear to create a conflict of interest.

Given this consideration, we are proposing an index for parliamentary consideration and parliamentary compensation that covers salary changes in the private sector alone.

After the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs reported this bill, it was brought to the government's attention that a number of parliamentary functions were in fact not covered by the Parliament of Canada Act.

I am pleased that the official opposition and the NDP agreed that the deputy House leaders, deputy whips in the House and the Senate and the national caucus chairs receive modest compensation. These positions considerably increase parliamentary responsibilities and should therefore be compensated accordingly.

In conclusion, I want to say that, thanks to this bill, the government is keeping its commitment to delink compensation increases for parliamentarians and judges and, instead, to link them to the average pay increases of Canadians.

At the same time, I believe it is important that decisions on parliamentary compensation take into consideration the opinion of all members of this House. As a result, I am delighted that this bill has received generous support from both the government and opposition members.