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House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

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

Diamond AnniversaryRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians join our friends throughout the Commonwealth in marking the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

Whether we rose early to watch the festivities yesterday in London or thought about the anniversary as we read our newspaper or heard about it on the way to work, we are all united in thanksgiving and deep affection for those whom we respect so highly and have come to know so well that we often refer to them simply as “Elizabeth and Philip”.

Our Queen and her consort are part of our national family. The events in their lives have so often marked milestones in ours: the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway; the planting of a tree at the Governor General's residence; a mini-rail tour at Expo 67; the opening of the Olympic Games in Montreal; the patriation of the Constitution; a puck drop at a hockey game in Vancouver—each of these events has been permanently tucked away into the photo album of our national consciousness.

However, more than Queen and Consort, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness have become in a sense our friends, familiar companions on a shared journey to the full expression of our national identity over the past six decades, one of whose basic components is the encouragement, dignity and stability of our constitutional order at the centre of which is the Maple Crown.

The pressures this marriage has faced—media, public and family pressures—are beyond our imagination. And yet the solidity of their marriage highlights the value of an institution that has been called into question many times over. Our Queen's sense of duty and Philip's strong and innovative spirit are complementary; their marriage is a true union of spirits. We must never take for granted the sacrifices they have made by fulfilling their calls. We must never stop being amazed that they share “the love that asks no question, the love that stands the test; that lays upon the altar the dearest and the best.”

In this House high partisanship and deep difference often causes us to divide, disagree and dissent. That is rightly so. It is the stuff of politics.

However, on a day like this we can perhaps for a few moments think of a greater truth, the stuff of romance, of vows kept and love sustained, and commitments shared on the part of two of the most active senior citizens in the world who maintain so busy a round of duty, bringing happiness and a sense of belonging to so many that they meet.

Ten years ago I moved, and the House unanimously adopted, the following motion:

That this House, on behalf of all Canadians, convey its warm greetings and best wishes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on the happy occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

On their diamond anniversary, our love for the royal family has never been more profound. Today, Canada is reiterating the bond we share with our Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. From every corner of this country, which they have visited so often, from every corner of this country, which they have travelled from one ocean to the other, Canadians wish Elizabeth and Philip many more years of happiness together.

In closing, let me call to mind what the young Princess Elizabeth said following the untimely death of her father before her Coronation. She said:

I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.

But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.

Canadians have been and we wish Her Majesty a very happy anniversary.

Diamond AnniversaryRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Diamond AnniversaryRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to speak today on behalf of my party and my constituents on the occasion of such great joy: the diamond wedding anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

So often in this House we are forced to deal with matters of great consequence. We respond to issues of the economy, social justice, peace and war.

It is refreshing indeed today to stand to speak of something so fundamental, so inspiring and, in this day and age, so rare as two people linked together for a lifetime, bound by love and duty to each other, to tradition and to their country.

Still, because of this couple in question, one must agree that it is a matter of great consequence. Our Queen and Prince Philip are part of our history.

As my friend across the chamber so ably reminded us, the royal couple has left an indelible mark on the post-war history of our nation. In Canada, great matters of state, commerce, sport and culture, seem to demand obviously great attention.

This, in large part, is because of who we are as a nation: a proud member of the Commonwealth and the inheritor of a parliamentary system, and so many other civil institutions that have served us so well. But it is also, in large part, because of who they are and the dedication that they have shown this country.

She has been our Queen, the Queen of Canada, since 1952. Without a doubt, no royals have seen more of this country, charmed more of its people, and met more of our prime ministers. Think about this. The first prime minister Elizabeth met in her role as monarch was Louis St. Laurent.

We hear, from time to time, of uprisings of anti-monarchy sentiment in this country. But it strikes me that more often than not those who speak harshly of the monarchy do so in a way that targets the institution not its present occupants.

People may object to the cost of the office, the pomp and the ancient traditions. But they are generally careful to target their disdain in such a way as to spare the royal couple. This is perhaps the greatest tribute one can pay to the Queen and her Consort.

In an age of instant opinions, banner headlines and tabloid journalism, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh have been able to insulate themselves from the worst of it. No mean feat when they have lived their lives and have spent their marriage at the centre of 60 long whirlwind years.

Think about that as well, not only being married for 60 years but being married for 60 years under a spotlight that follows their every step; a spotlight, perhaps even more significantly, that follows the every move of their children and, now, their grandchildren, too.

Anyone who lives in the public eye must stand in awe at the patience and grace with which the two elder royals have conducted themselves. It is a spotlight, I might add, that they have not sought but that they have lived with in grace.

Her Majesty was born to play a role. The Duke of Edinburgh, 60 years ago, agreed to join her on that stage. Together, they have performed brilliantly. And on this day in particular, they deserve our thanks.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have never forgotten Canada and we, in turn, must remind ourselves never to take them for granted.

Earlier, I said the royal couple has been an important part of our history. I believe that I can safely say the same about their role in our nation's future.

On behalf of my colleagues on this side of the House, the proud members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, I offer heartfelt congratulations to our Queen and her Consort, the Duke of Edinburgh, on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary.

Diamond AnniversaryRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the New Democratic Party I am very pleased to extend congratulations, sincere best wishes and kindest regards to Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, on this, the 60th anniversary of their wedding, their diamond anniversary.

People all across Canada and throughout the Commonwealth join together in recognizing and paying tribute to a remarkable achievement of 60 years of marriage. Indeed, the whole world watched the magnificent ceremony at Westminster Abbey yesterday to mark the longest royal marriage in known history.

All weddings are public affairs but some couples more than others have to live in the full light of public life, no one more than the Queen and Prince Philip, as recent years have proved. The poet laureate of Great Britain spoke these words at the ceremony yesterday:

Love found a voice and spoke two names aloud--
two private names, though breezed through public air--

I speak for those of us in public life who have often marvelled at the poise, the dignity, and the character demonstrated by the Queen and Prince Philip as they performed their many duties, duties that often took them to this country.

Many Canadians have enjoyed seeing our Queen celebrate a trio of milestones in recent years: her Golden Jubilee marking 50 years of her reign, her 80th birthday, and now her 60th wedding anniversary.

The Queen and Prince Philip have earned our admiration, our affection and our esteem as an example of unwavering devotion, dedication, sense of duty and integrity. They are an inspiration to the loyal subjects in Canada and the Commonwealth.

In fact, Her Majesty has been a dutiful and steadfast influence and beacon of stability in a rapidly changing world.

On behalf of the NDP and the many Canadians who feel deeply proud of their monarchy, may they continue to share with us as they enjoy many more years of health, happiness and companionship.

Diamond AnniversaryRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to thank the hon. members for their comments on Her Majesty.

I will, of course, on behalf of the House, send a letter to Her Majesty and Prince Philip outlining the appreciation of the House for their service and enclose copies of members' statements, as would be the usual practice. I trust this is satisfactory with hon. members.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-481, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (electronic stability control).

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of introducing a bill today entitled an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, or ESC for short. I thank my seconder for the support.

If adopted, this bill would amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to provide that every vehicle weighing less than 4,536 kilograms sold in Canada or imported into Canada is to be equipped with an electronic stability control system. ESC is a safety technology designed to enhance a vehicle's stability, and to prevent loss of control and rollovers in all driving conditions.

According to a comprehensive 2001 Canadian government study, there were 2,778 motor vehicle deaths and 24,403 hospital admissions as a result of motor vehicle collisions. Estimates from Transport Canada in 2005 indicated that at least 255 fewer deaths would have resulted and 1,440 fewer hospital admissions as well if all of the vehicles had been equipped with ESC systems.

We need to be serious about applying modern technology to safety issues on our roads. ESC is a step in that direction.

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

Official Languages ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-482, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (Charter of the French Language) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce this bill, which requires the Government of Canada to undertake not to obstruct the application of the Charter of the French Language in Quebec. The bill follows up on the government's decision to recognize the Quebec nation. Language and culture are key to a nation's identity.

We are asking the government to recognize the fact that the common language in Quebec is French. This also applies to federally chartered institutions. For example, the Canada Labour Code establishes minimum wage based on provincial minimums. This bill targets the same situations.

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

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by thousands of Canadians who draw to the attention of the House their point that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known and yet Canada continues to be one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world. The petitioners point out that Canada still allows asbestos to be used in construction materials, textile products and even children's toys. They also point out that the United States Senate recently unanimously passed a bill to ban asbestos in all its forms.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to ban asbestos, to end all government subsidies of asbestos both in Canada and abroad, and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam convention.

National Historic SitesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 20th, 2007 / 10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition on behalf of the people of Biggar and area about the proposed destruction of the unique and historic locomotive roundhouse in Biggar. The petitioners are asking that the roundhouse be deemed a national historic site and not become another pile of concrete, stones and rubble.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table two petitions this morning. The first is signed by over 500 residents in my constituency of Burnaby--Douglas and other communities in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

The petitioners point out that 21 year old Amanda Wei Zhao was murdered in Burnaby, B.C. in October 2002 and that two Chinese foreign students were charged in the murder. Mr. Ang Li was charged with second degree murder and Mr. Han Zhang was charged with accessory to murder, but Mr. Li was able to return to China before the charges were laid.

The petitioners note that China and Canada do not have an extradition agreement, that both sides are exerting prosecutorial jurisdiction and that the murder investigation remains stuck as a result. It has been five years since Amanda Zhao was murdered and her parents, Bao-ying Yang and Zi-Sheng Zhao, are still waiting for due process and justice to take place.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to work with the relevant Chinese authorities to ensure, at long last, a fair process of justice for the Zhao family and to work with the Zhao family to ensure they receive support and access to information regarding their daughter's murder investigation.

Canadian Human Rights ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by over 400 people from the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. They call on the government and the House to pass Bill C-326, a private member's bill, which I in fact have tabled, to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination in order to fight discrimination and social exclusion of transgender, transexual and genderqueer people. I think it is particularly appropriate to table this today on the Trans Day of Remembrance.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table a petition submitted by students in my riding. Nearly 600 signatures were collected.

The mining industry is growing around the world. These students are concerned that human rights, rights and obligations imposed by Canadian mining companies, are not respected abroad. They are asking the government to urge the Secretary-General of the United Nations to develop an international mechanism for obtaining prior consent, freely given with full knowledge of the situation. Consent should be a prerequisite for all exploratory projects. The proposed process should include provisions to address complaints, offer recourse and provide compensation to victims.

These students are concerned about what will happen to displaced individuals and about the fact that these human rights are being ignored in some countries.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to rise in the House today to present a petition like that mentioned by the member for Burnaby—Douglas, because we have worked together on this issue, and to note that it has been more than five years since 21 year old Amanda Wei Zhao was murdered in Burnaby, yet still her family in China is waiting for justice as the accused, Ang Li, returned to China before charges were laid.

There is deep concern in the community as evidenced by the over 1,000 petitions that have been signed about this case. Clearly, members of the community and ourselves call on the Government of Canada to work with relevant Chinese authorities to ensure that at long last a process of justice begin for the Zhao family and that the government work with the family to ensure it receives support and access to information about their daughter's murder investigation. We call on the Government of Canada to monitor this and to make sure that justice is done.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 12 and 43.

Question No. 12Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

With regard to a national energy strategy: (a) what is the government's position on the development and implementation of a national energy strategy; and (b) are there current impediments developing and implementing a national energy strategy and, if so, what are they?

Question No. 12Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

Government of Canada is committed to building a strong and distinctive energy advantage. We understand that energy is critically important to our Canadian way of life and long-term economic growth. Canada is the only stable, democratic country in the world with growing energy export capacity.

Our energy policy is guided by the principles of a free and competitive market, respect for the provinces’ jurisdiction as the direct managers of Canada’s resources and targeted initiatives to protect the health and safety of Canadians, e.g. pipeline regulation, and environmental sustainability.

We recognize that the production and use of energy, particularly fossil fuels, generate air emissions that contribute to smog and negatively affect the health of Canadians. Our challenge is to ensure that we become a clean superpower. Canada has a responsibility to produce and use energy wisely.

Initiatives under our government’s ecoACTION plan are practical actions that combine economic opportunity with environmental and social sustainability. We are focused on three areas: renewable energy, energy efficiency and science and technology.

To promote renewable power, we have committed $1.5 billion through the ecoENERGY renewable initiative to put 4,000 megawatts of clean energy on the grid. In budget 2007, we increased access to accelerate capital cost allowance for industries generating cleaner energy and provided $2 billion over the next seven years to provide incentives to producers in the biofuel sector.

To improve energy efficiency, we have launched the $300 million ecoENERGY efficiency initiative which includes measures to encourage the construction, operation and retrofit of more energy efficient buildings and houses. We are also strengthening the energy performance standards under the Energy Efficiency Act and regulating fuel consumption in motor vehicles.

Our promotion of clean energy technology through the $230 million ecoENERGY technology initiative is focused on accelerating the development and market readiness of technology solutions in clean energy supply. We recently added $85 million through federal granting councils for research on key priorities on energy and the environment.

The federal energy policy will continue to serve Canadians well and to provide benefits in a number of areas, such as: maintaining and enhancing the prosperity of Canadians; providing a secure supply of energy for Canadians and Canadian industry; and producing energy in a sustainable manner consistent with our environmental objectives.

The elements that compose the federal energy policy will continue to evolve so that Canada can meet the challenges and benefit from opportunities that arise in international and domestic energy markets and accommodate new technologies and new cleaner energy sources as they become commercial. The federal energy policy is sound but not static and we will continue to look for ways to improve this approach through dialogue with Canadians, which include all levels of government, industry and other stakeholders.

Question No. 43Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

With regard to housing conditions on First Nations: (a) since the government’s shelter allowance policy was initially drafted, how much funding has been allocated to the federal riding of Churchill, as well as the province of Manitoba in general; (b) what steps has the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs taken to address the Auditor General’s 2003 report that indicated the Department was not consistently applying its shelter allowance policy; (c) as per the recommendation found in section 6.88 of the 2003 Auditor General’s report, has the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada evaluated its interim policy of shelter allowances and approved a final policy with necessary changes resulting from the evaluation; (d) have any funding or structural changes been made to the existing shelter allowance policy since January 23, 2006, and, if so, what are they; and (e) what is the annual allocation and expenditure of the government on shelter allowance found in the government’s budget tabled in March 2007?

Question No. 43Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the response is as follows:

(a)* Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s policy is to deliver the income assistance program according to provincial and territorial rates and eligibility criteria. Shelter allowance falls under the basic needs component of the income assistance program. From fiscal year 2003-2004, when the policy renewal for income assistance took effect, until fiscal year 2005-2006, approximately $11.1 million had been reimbursed to Manitoba First Nations living on reserve. Of this amount, approximately $3.7 million has been reimbursed to 23 First Nations living within the Churchill riding;

(b) Since 2003, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada has been reviewing its income assistance policy with respect to shelter allowance to ensure each region is applying the shelter allowance component according to provincial and territorial legislation;

(c) Indian and Northern Affairs Canada has reviewed its application of shelter allowance and is satisfied that it is consistent with provincial and territorial rates and eligibility criteria;

(d) No funding or structural changes have been made to the shelter allowance component of the income assistance program;

(e) Budget 2007, tabled on March 19, 2007, includes $300 million for housing, $150 million in fiscal year 2007-2008 and $150 million in fiscal year 2008-2009, which does not include funding for shelter allowance. The 2007-2008 main estimates, tabled on February 27, 2007, include about $652.8 million for the income assistance program. *This would include approximately $60 million for shelter allowance, based on the 2005-2006 expenditures of about $59.6 million.

*Recipients obtain funding through a variety of arrangements including contributions, flexible transfer payments and alternative funding arrangements. In the latter case, a global amount is provided to First Nations for a range of basic services; accordingly, these figures do not include funding provided through these global arrangements. Financial data is not yet available for fiscal year 2006-2007.

Source: Indian Affairs and Northern Development--Social Assistance On-Reserve Shelter Data.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 35, 48 and 55 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 35Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

With respect to oil spills in British Columbia's coastal waters in the last five years: (a) what was the total cost of clean ups, on annual basis; (b) on annual basis, what portion of the cost of clean up was paid (i) by Environment Canada, (ii) by Canada Wildlife Service, (iii) by the responsible polluter; (c) what was the date and location of each of the spills; (d) what was the size of each of the spills; (e) what was the extent of the wildlife damage in each of these spills; (f) how many birds and mammals were rehabilitated and released; (g) how many birds and mammals were euthanized; and (h) how many dead birds and mammals were retrieved?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 48Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

How much total funding has the Department of Canadian Heritage allocated to National Aboriginal Day from 2004 through to 2007?