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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was consultation.

Topics

Private Member's Motion No. 161Points of OrderGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Because of suggestions made during the debate on my private member's motion, Motion No. 161, I consulted the Ethics Commissioner to ascertain whether or not my private interests and the motion placed me in a potential conflict of interest.

The House should know that the response from the Ethics Commissioner indicates that there is no conflict, but because the motion is still before the House for further consideration, I believe it is important for the House to have a copy of the Ethics Commissioner's opinion. Because I am the only person who can make this public, I request unanimous consent to table the opinion.

Private Member's Motion No. 161Points of OrderGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the House grant unanimous consent for the hon. member for Simcoe North to table the letter?

Private Member's Motion No. 161Points of OrderGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions between all parties, and I think you will find there is unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, notwithstanding the Order made on Tuesday, April 25, 2006, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security be authorized to continue its deliberations relating to its review of the Anti-terrorism Act beyond June 23, 2006 and to present its final report no later than December 22, 2006.

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-3, An Act respecting international bridges and tunnels and making a consequential amendment to another Act, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, unlike my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie, I cannot claim that my riding of Victoria is the centre of North America, as the city sits right on the Pacific Ocean. However, I do appreciate the wisdom of the amendment to require that the federal government consult with local government. As Victoria is a port of entry for many ships, I have seen the increased requirements for security and the costs that those involve.

I am wondering if my colleague would explain to us how he sees the consultation will improve the situation that municipalities, local governments and cities are facing with respect to some of these issues.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a central consideration to this amendment.

In my community's instance, there is an authority that oversees our bridge. Some very active and effective organizations in the community are looking at the further development of our city and its economic future. If there were in place a regular opportunity to sit down and talk with the federal government, we could bring lots of things to the table that would lend to further developments and improvements for the bridge in our city.

If we are going to become a multimodal hub, if we are going to realize some of the potential given our geographic location at the centre of North America, then we need to be in consultation with the level of government that manages and controls the central piece of infrastructure, the bridge. We need to be talking to that level of government about the kinds of investments that need to be made not only in the bridge but in all of the infrastructure that leads up to and away from the bridge.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know how crucial this issue is to the member's community of Sault Ste. Marie.

I wonder if my colleague might comment on the fact that the bill right now includes consultation for operation of international bridges and tunnels, but it does not include consultation for the sale or resale, the construction or alterations to those important pieces of infrastructure. Those can have an important effect on the communities where these bridges and tunnels are located. They can have a really crucial effect on the development of those communities, on the livelihoods of the people who live there, on the quality of life for people who live near these important structures.

I wonder if he could comment on why he would think there would be any opposition to ensuring that consultation was in place when sale or resale, construction or alteration was involved with our international bridges and tunnels.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question, particularly given that we have a mish-mash of ownership across the country right now and control of bridges of tunnels.

Bridges can be sold and bought in a way that does not take into account the impact that it will have on the local community and the local area, so those kinds of considerations are certainly crucial.

I am lucky in my own community. We have an authority. We have a publicly owned and managed facility. That authority does excellent work in maintaining and managing the bridge, but it needs the help of the federal government. It needs to be in consultation on a regular basis with the federal government in partnership with the community to see what else needs to be done and to talk about the future of the bridge.

We hope we will see that for all of our bridges as we go forward because they are such important pieces of infrastructure. Considering some of the issues and concerns we have today around terrorism, we hope that more and more of those bridges will be bought up, owned and controlled by the federal government.

We will have a vehicle out of the bill that is being passed here today to actually have the federal government, which then owns those facilities, to be in consultation regularly with the local community as we consider how we move forward, make further investments, and develop those important pieces of infrastructure.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie who has done terrific work with his community. It is important to acknowledge that the member has been very good about having an involvement, not only just in terms of people around him advising him with regard to this but also the municipality.

I would ask the member for Sault Ste. Marie if he believes the border authority commission, which he has in his community, has been of benefit to the community in many respects? In my area, where we do not have any border authority, there is basically no overall jurisdiction whatsoever to help coordinate the traffic. We have a worse situation.

Maybe the member could comment on the fact that there is an accountability process through his border authority, which I do not currently have in my region.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think our authority is an example of how good relationships between levels of government and public ownership and public control of a bridge can reduce some of the difficulties and challenges where bridges are concerned.

We have an excellent authority. We have local membership on that authority and those members are appointed in consultation with our community and are in constant communication with the powers that be in Sault Ste. Marie, and I think that is very valuable.

What we are asking for today by way of an amendment to the bill is that it be formalized, that there be regular consultation among the federal government, the local authority, and the local community around issues of impact as we expand these facilities, for example, in areas of the environment.

In our community, we have just cut a new roadway which is named after a previous member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie who passed away last summer, Carmen Provenzano. The community decided to name the roadway coming from the highway north and the highway east to the bridge, crossing the St. Mary's River and into Michigan, Carmen's Way. Some members who knew Carmen may be interested.

However, it speaks to the very positive and valuable contribution that publicly owned and controlled bridges with authorities, with a more formal opportunity to consult with the local community, can have on the development of those facilities.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's response. I would like to ask him about the issue of planning in the region with regard to safety and security.

I know that we are working toward having support in terms of training for first responders, especially if there is a crisis, whether it be hazardous materials or security issues. That is where we need to build stronger partnerships for safer and sounder communities. That is why we need to develop national strategies for that.

My local government as well as the provincial government, and I actually give credit to the federal government for providing me with a recent briefing on hazardous materials, which was very helpful, have been talking about those issues.

I would ask my colleague whether or not there should be more planning with regard to those measures to protect public safety?

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, absolutely, that would be crucial. As a matter of fact, in my community we have the authority that manages the bridge. We have our city council and our economic development corporation. We also have contribution from the provincial and federal governments to build the infrastructure that will be necessary if we are going to expand and take advantage of the opportunity that is there given our geographic location.

In building those roads and developing those transportation networks between the highways and the bridge, the local folks at city hall, in consultation with the engineers and the people who build those roads, consider all of those factors. They consider the safety factor and what might happen if a hazardous load comes over. They ensure that the roads are in such condition that we minimize the possibility of any kind of accident happening.

These roads, ultimately at some point, will have to go through neighbourhoods, as they do in Windsor. We have to consider the long lineups that may occur from time to time, the idling of those vehicles, and what impact the emissions will have on the immediate neighbourhood.

International Bridges and Tunnels ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, there is a motion coming with respect to the bill in the next couple of minutes, but I do want to say how pleased I am that the bill has been introduced in Parliament. Indeed, it was one of the first bills introduced after the federal accountability act, which is very important to the government.

I commend the Minister of Transport for introducing Bill C-3. There are even similarities in this bill to a bill that was introduced in the last Parliament. One difference is that this bill will be passed. I am very pleased about that.

For the first time since Confederation this gives absolute authority to the federal government to act in a responsible manner that is consistent with environmental principles and consistent with the consultation process that must go on whenever decisions are made on our international borders. I am very pleased that we are moving forward on it.

Indeed, in the past, there has been a collection of various statutes and various ways that international crossings have been constructed. For instance, a number of them have been constructed under the Navigable Waters Protection Act. As important as that particular piece of legislation is, it is important that we have legislation like this which clearly sets out the federal authority with respect to bridges and tunnels.

It will be welcomed in my area of Niagara Falls. I do not know if anyone in this Chamber has more international crossings than I do in the riding of Niagara Falls. I do not know of anyone who has more than four. In any case, it is a great step forward. I am glad to be able to add those few comments to the mix.

Canada DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, this year on July 1 we celebrate Canada's 139th birthday. This is a perfect opportunity to express the pride we feel about living in a young, prosperous and diversified country which is often the object of envy around the world.

Canada Day is an opportunity to gather in our communities across this vast country and to proudly celebrate all that we have in common. It is an ideal occasion to celebrate our accomplishments at home and abroad. Looking ahead, we have ever reason to view the future with confidence and enthusiasm.

We encourage all Canadians to participate in the various activities taking place in their communities, whether performances featuring local artists, street parties or parades. We should all take advantage of the opportunities to celebrate our great country with family, friends and neighbours.

I invite all Canadians to participate in the festivities of July 1. We have so much to celebrate.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, on this the last day of the session, I would like to share with Canadians the excellent work of the Liberal Party as official opposition.

The party exposed the lack of concern that the government has for Canadian students, especially those most in need.

The Liberals refused to allow the ACOA minister to force opposition MPs to register as lobbyists to do our job.

The Liberals presented an amendment in the finance committee to prevent the government from increasing the income taxes on the lowest income Canadians. The amendment was defeated by a combination of the government and the Bloc. On Canada Day take home pay will decrease from coast to coast to coast.

Liberals exposed the fact that the government, despite ambitious and far reaching language, has not allocated a single red cent to address the fiscal imbalance.

The Liberal Party showed the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia that their new national government holds the Atlantic accords in absolute contempt.

The Liberals vigorously defended Canadian farmers and supply management. While the Liberal Party fought for a robust sensitive products regime at the WTO, the Conservatives are backing away from supply management.

Liberals confirm that the fiscal framework of the previous government did in fact include a total of $5 billion to address obligations arising from the Kelowna accord.

Nicole BeaudoinStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 1, Nicole Beaudoin, President of the Quebec Business Women's Network and President and CEO of the Women Entrepreneurial Center of Québec received the title of Officer of the Order of Quebec.

A pioneer as a female executive in large corporations, a Fellow of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec, an experienced manager and a finance specialist, Ms. Beaudoin's expertise has been sought by many national and international organizations.

Her passion and perseverance have made her a leader in empowering women and helping them grow. She supports women in their quest for professional success by giving them all the means and guidance they need.

Since her youth, Ms. Beaudoin has been involved in a number of social and cultural associations in various capacities. Service, solidarity, integrity and respect are values that characterize her personal and professional life.

Congratulations to Nicole Beaudoin, resident emeritus of Laval.

Chinese CanadiansStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today in Parliament we will witness a historic occasion, when the Government of Canada makes a formal apology on behalf of all Canadians for the racist and discriminatory policies that caused suffering and hardship because of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act.

I am proud that our party, the NDP, has never wavered in its support and commitment for an apology, and a fair and just settlement for head tax payer survivors, widows and descendants. Former NDP MP Margaret Mitchell first brought this issue to Parliament in 1984. We thank her for her commitment.

We also pay tribute and respect to those in the Chinese Canadian community: the Chinese Canadian National Council; the B.C. Coalition; ACCESS; and individuals such as Sid Chow Tan, Victor Wong, Susan Eng, and Charlie Quan, a head tax payer in East Vancouver. They have shown the courage of their convictions.

Today we honour the memory of the Chinese workers who gave their lives for the building of Canada's national railway, and the survivors and families who know that justice must be done.

Waste ManagementStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, today roughly 416 truckloads of garbage will rumble down the highway from Toronto, dripping leachate on their way to massive landfill in Michigan. Consider that.

We are living in a day and age where we can put satellites in orbit, operate on humans with lasers, and build computers that fly airplanes, but we still find it acceptable to bury garbage in the ground and leave that problem for another generation to figure out. We have thousands of ticking time bombs across the country.

There exists technology that can forever relegate landfills to history. Indeed, many European countries have been doing this for decades. It is simple. We take household garbage and gasify it at 8,000°C. We can create energy from waste and clean up the environment in the process. This is not incineration.

Landfilling is wrong-headed and destructive. Gasifying garbage is the way of the future. It is time governments at all levels realized this.

The Conservative GovernmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the list goes on. In 2005, the Liberals provided $480 million in immediate funding to the grains and oilseeds sector to help producers face the cash crisis. In contrast, producers have not received a penny from the Conservative government for spring seeding.

The Conservatives say they will honour the $3.4 billion increase the Liberals promised for international aid and our promise to double the budget for official development assistance, which will exceed $5 billion by 2010. Following a protracted struggle on behalf of residential school victims, the Conservatives are finally honouring the agreement signed by the Liberals.

The Sierra Club called the Liberals' last budget the greenest ever. Unfortunately, the Conservative budget cut 93% of the funding Liberals set aside for the environment, which is a major disaster for future generations.