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House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I commend the parliamentary secretary for his truly terrific involvement in advancing the Aeronautics Act. As the parliamentary secretary mentioned, this is overdue.

I bring my perspective as a pilot, predominantly in the general aviation industry and someone who flies under visual flight rules. In participating in an activity like this, as pilots know, we have ultimate responsibility for the safety of our aircraft, as well as for any passengers or those who might fly with us.

We know full well that the safety of this activity is paramount and that the kind of discipline that goes into flying is essential. We have to practise it day in and day out. I acknowledge and thank the parliamentary secretary for pointing out that environment we fly in has changed considerably with the level of aircraft congestion, the changes with instrumentation and the kinds of pressures that come to bear on pilots.

Could the parliamentary secretary perhaps expand on what types of consultation have taken place with the pilot community? They are the people who are charged with the ultimate responsibility of ensuring flight and aircraft safety.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, what would be more important to pilots than to have the safe planes? I fly approximately 16 hours every week from my job here to northern Alberta and back. As a frequent flyer, I want to ensure that planes are as safe as humanly possible.

Both the Canadians Owners and Pilots Association and the Airline Pilots Association have said they want this. I would be surprised if they did not want more strenuous regulations. As a frequent flyer, I do.

I welcome any amendments that my friend or any member would put forward, which would be helpful in this.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate on Bill C-6, the Aeronautics Act.

If we knew nothing about the act and we listened to the parliamentary secretary, we would get the impression that something was being done by the government to deal with this, with all the references to the consultations and all the amazing work that was so carefully done. What he did not say, which I wish he had, was that the bill is identical Bill C-62 from the last government.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Then why didn't you pass it?

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

The President of the Treasury Board cannot take the truth. He can dish it out, but he cannot take it.

Bill C-5 was the same. At least the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health said it. Governing is not about putting one bill on the table and working it right through to the end. Then when it is finished, putting another one on the table. There happens to be a series of legislative initiatives that have to be on the table on a broad range of ministerial initiatives to ensure that we deal with all the priorities of Canada.

There were 34 bills--

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Legalizing marijuana was a bigger priority.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

I would really like to spend a bit of time on debate, Mr. Speaker, without the interruptions of the President of the Treasury Board. Between him and the parliamentary secretary, I am not sure which one interrupts debate more. However, I would appreciate a bit of respect from the minister.

The members are suggesting somehow that they did something with the bill. If they were honest, they would say that the bill was on the table at the end of the last Parliament. There were 34-some-odd bills that were in process at various stages. We cannot pass them all. To ask why we did not pass them is foolishness. The minister should not be so foolish in this place.

There are some important changes. The parliamentary secretary tried to outline the list of consultations they had. The parliamentary secretary will know from the officials of the Department of Transport that the consultations with all stakeholders went on over years. It was three years, and he admits it now. Yet during his speech, he took credit for all these consultations.

Let us get one thing straight, the bill--

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

I admit it, you're the best.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

There goes the President of the Treasury Board. I have never seen such a rude person during all debate. It is really disgusting.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

I would appreciate it if, in these last few minutes we have left here today, that the Chair could hear the speaker from Mississauga South. The speaker from Mississauga South has the floor and he knows the subject to which he is to speak.

As for the other comments, I would appreciate it if we could save them for another day, especially from people who know they are members of the government. Thank you.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

The bill has a couple of important amendments which I would like to read into the record. Clause 6 reads:

The Airworthiness Investigative Authority shall make available any on-board recording obtained in the course of an investigation of a military-civilian occurrence

Clause 6(a) reads:

to a coroner who requests access to it for the purpose of an investigation that the coroner is conducting;

Clause 6(b) reads:

to any person carrying out a coordinated investigation under section 18 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act; or

Clause 6(c) reads:

to a board of inquiry convened under section 45 of the National Defence Act by the Minister, if he or she requests that the recording be made available, the occurrence did not take place in or over Canada and it involved an aircraft operated by the Canadian Forces.

Some implications still have to be reviewed and discussed and one relates to whether or not the addition gives more power to request flight recording if an accident happens on non-Canadian soil.

The proposed legislation would provide Transport Canada with the required tools to maintain and enhance the safety of the Canadian aviation system.

I think it is extremely important for Canadians to know that the Government of Canada in the last Parliament, over a two or three year period, spent an enormous amount of time consulting thoroughly with all the stakeholder groups. This is an extremely important piece of legislation and, quite frankly, I am pleased that the current government saw fit to introduce and reintroduce what was Bill C-62 into this Parliament because it is the right thing to do.

However to suggest somehow that the Conservatives did the work and they somehow put this bill together is absolutely incorrect. It is also incorrect with regard to Bill C-5. Bill C-5 was a reintroduction of the last government's bill to create the Public Health Agency of Canada.

I hope the President of the Treasury Board will rise on questions, but with regard to Bill C-2, which he sponsored, there are amendments to the whistleblower act. The whistleblower act was Bill C-11 in the last Parliament. It passed at all stages, had the unanimous consent of all parties and received royal assent but the present government has not proclaimed it. It is the law in Canada but it is not in force. The reason being is that the government wants to take credit for that as well. There is a little bit of a pattern here.

The changes put forward in Bill C-6 reflect new strategies being implemented to regulate aviation safety, including an increase in penalties that may be imposed under the act. I think the parliamentary secretary did a very good job in outlining that section.

The key amendments also include the voluntary, non-punitive reporting programs which would allow individuals and operators to confidentially report on a voluntary basis certain regulatory violations. This is an extremely important issue. I am sure that as we get into the speeches from other members that they will be able to amplify on one of these important provisions. It took an awful long time to develop the provisions of this bill which would meet the needs of Canadian aeronautic safety.

These changes are essential to advancing aviation safety, as we all recognize. The Liberals will support this bill. It was our bill, but that does not matter. It is not a partisan bill. It is a public safety bill, aeronautics safety, amendments for public safety. It is the right thing to do and I hope we have the support of all members.

There may be some modifications or amendments and that is appropriate. This is at second reading. We will have an opportunity to go to committee and maybe have further consultations with the various stakeholders to see if there is anything else that may have come up in the interim since the consultations ended.

The reason we are here is to make good laws and wise decisions, and part of that is to have debate and informed debate, not to somehow suggest that someone has good ideas and someone else does not. That is not the case. It just happens to be a bill that was in process in the Parliament of Canada. It is the right thing to do to have brought it back and I thank the government for bringing this bill back to the floor of Parliament so that we can deal with this important public safety issue.

The introduction of the amendments in the Aeronautics Act is a culmination of these extensive consultations. I hope the Minister of Transport will ensure that we have the necessary consultations or final consultations through the committee process and that they are open to any amendments that may come forward to further enhance and improve the bill.

The Canadian Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council's primary objective is to assess and recommend potential regulatory changes through cooperative rule making activities concerning Transport Canada's civil aviation regulatory mandate.

We are quite happy that this bill has been brought forward. We want to continue to participate as much as necessary to ensure that the bill is as good as it possibly can be. I am sure the government will recognize that it was the work of parliamentarians not just in this Parliament but in the past Parliament as well and regardless of party, there should be no shame in saying that we did good work in the last Parliament.

Aeronautics ActGovernment Orders

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

When the House next considers Bill C-6, there will be 10 minutes left in the hon. member's time.

It being 2:30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until 11 a.m. Monday, pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 2:30 p.m.)