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House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was officers.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with the other members of the World Health Organization to ensure that Taiwan is appropriately represented at these institutions. We will ensure that population benefits from and contributes to the services that the World Health Organization can provide. We hope there will be further progress this week.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has allocated $12 billion to infrastructure since 1993. In addition, gasoline tax revenues will mean allocations of $5.8 billion for municipalities over the next five years.

Would the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities tell the House how this commitment will benefit the public transit system in this beautiful city of Ottawa?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, according to scientist David Suzuki, the new deal for cities and communities is truly extraordinary, because it provides an opportunity to improve air and water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Today, our government has made a commitment that illustrates perfectly the partnership Mr. Suzuki praises.

In cooperation with the City of Ottawa and the province, we have confirmed our support for the city's light rail project. The federal contribution will be $200 million.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, as reported this weekend, the Attorney General of Ontario, Michael Bryant, as most of us, is fed up with “cream puff sentences” handed out to those convicted of child pornography. He states that these sentences have reached “epidemic proportions”, with half of the convictions resulting in conditional sentences.

Will the justice minister admit here today that in order to stem the flow of child pornography there has to be an appropriate deterrent and that deterrent can no longer include house arrest?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this matter has been the subject of discussions between me and the Attorney General of Ontario. I am aware of his recommendation for consideration.

We have referred this matter. We will be getting a report from the deputy ministers and the FPT conference by June 2005. We take those concerns seriously.

The matter is also now before a standing committee of the House for consideration.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the children of Canada can no longer wait for these kinds of recommendations. Over half of those convicted of child pornography crimes serve their sentences in the comfort of their own home. The Liberal Attorney General of Ontario has now joined with the Conservative Party in asking for an absolution of these house arrests.

House arrest is no punishment for those who commit these horrific crimes. Why is the Prime Minister and the government so reluctant to simply abolish house arrest for these crimes?

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we share with the member opposite the concern that the primary concern has to be that of the best interests of the child.

In that context, we are reviewing the best options for that purpose and we will take the member's considerations into account.

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of young people and hundreds of companies and agencies in Quebec are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2005 summer career placement program. This year, Ottawa's funding criteria were changed without any consideration given to young people, the regions or the needs of the agencies. One of the direct consequences of this situation is the risk of a mass exodus of young people.

Does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development intend to correct this situation and review the criteria of this program as soon as possible in order to index resources and divide them fairly among all the ridings in Quebec?

Youth EmploymentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the program criteria have not changed in the least, neither has the methodology. It is tied to the number of young people present in each riding and the number who are unemployed. New data was collected during the 2001 census. In addition, there are now more ridings in the country, and some riding boundaries have been changed. Some variations have thus been observed.

We are prepared to provide all the figures available to show that the methodology has indeed been followed.

The EconomyOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

In his budget speech, the minister pegged the rising dollar as a principal risk to the government's economic and fiscal forecasts and job creation. However the Canadian economy thus far appears to have shown remarkable resilience.

Could the minister update this House on the current status of job creation in this country?

The EconomyOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say that the statistics that were released on Friday indicate that the Canadian economy created 50,000 new full time positions in April. They show the great strength of the Canadian economy. Employment rates and participation rates are near all-time record highs. The unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, which is the lowest level in more than five years.

The EconomyOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development, Social Economy, on a question of privilege.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill made reference to a member who does not sit in this House and who cannot protect herself.

I draw the attention of the Speaker to pages 76, 77 and 78 of Marleau and Montpetit under “Misuse of Freedom of Speech”, which states:

Speaker Fraser urged Members to take the greatest care in framing questions concerning conflict of interest guidelines.

With regard to the privilege of immunity in this House, he goes on to state:

Such a privilege confers grave responsibilities on those who are protected by it. By that I mean specifically the Hon. Members of this place. The consequences of its abuse can be terrible. Innocent people could be slandered with no redress available to them. Reputations could be destroyed on the basis of false rumour. All Hon. Members are conscious of the care they must exercise in availing themselves of their absolute privilege of freedom of speech.

He went on to say that Speakers in the past have ruled that when a member's reputation is at stake but that member does not sit in this House, we should be very careful in referring to that member by name.

He also went on to say:

Specifically referring to individuals outside the Chamber, he agreed with a suggestion that the House consider constraining itself “...in making comments about someone outside this Chamber which would in fact be defamatory under the laws of our country if made outside the Chamber....”

I would ask the hon. members of Her Majesty's official opposition, including the Bloc, but I am referring specifically to the hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill, to refrain from making accusations and impugning motives and allegations on people who cannot defend themselves in the House.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would just say very briefly in response that you clearly ruled the question in order. We believe it was in order and that it is legitimate to comment on testimony before a quasi-judicial inquiry.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am a little puzzled by the question of privilege. I named the member for Beauséjour who does sit in the House. I named the transport minister who sits in the House. I named no other member so I am not quite sure what the objection is all about.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe if you were to check the blues you would see that it was not mentioning a member of this House. In fact, it was mentioning an assistant to a certain minister whose name I will not use in this House. The hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill referred to members who are not members of this House. I believe you have ruled before on this question of privilege and the misuse of the freedom of speech by the hon. members of the opposition.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I will look at the blues, as suggested by the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development, Social Economy, and get back to the House in due course if necessary in respect of this matter.

TreatiesRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with permission of the House and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I would like to table, in both official languages, the treaties that entered into force in Canada in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

In keeping with recent practice, I am also tabling CD-ROMs that contain the text of these treaties in an electronic format. The CD-ROMs have reduced paper burden, while at the same time providing wide accessibility to the treaties through the Library of Parliament.

Certificates of NominationRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Raymond Simard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 110(2), I am tabling two certificates of nomination, one with respect to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, and one with respect to the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat.

Order in Council AppointmentsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Raymond Simard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a number of order in council appointments recently made by the government.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Liberal

Raymond Simard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy 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 85 petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 9th, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The committee has examined the qualifications and competence of Mr. Yves LeBouthillier, nominee to the position of president of the Law Commission of Canada, and finds him competent to perform the duties of that position.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 123(1) and 19.1(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations concerning the revocation of subsection 36(2) of the Ontario fishery regulations, 1989, included in this report and from which the notice was given to the regulatory authority.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Natural Resources, Science and Technology, concerning the certificate of appointment of Jean-René Halde to the position of president of the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Food and Drugs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-379, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (food labelling).

Mr. Speaker, this bill is a revised and improved version of one that I introduced in the last Parliament. In it I propose to require basic information on chain restaurant menus and the labels of processed foods and fresh meat. One or more of these measures finds support in reports of the National Academy of Sciences, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario and the Canadian Institute of Health Information.

Even the most vocal industry critics of the bill recently announced a voluntary restaurant nutrition labelling program that will do some of the things they said were impossible just last spring. The bill is supported by 29 health and citizen groups representing two million Canadians.

I urge colleagues on both sides of the House to make it work. Canadians expect no less.

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