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House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Republic of Macedonia Recognition ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Saint John have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Republic of Macedonia Recognition ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Visitor VisasPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of Polish Canadians, including many from my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to lift the visitor visa requirements for Polish citizens wishing to visit Canada. They point out that Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and that both Canada and Poland are active members of NATO, promoting peace and security together.

The petitioners draw attention to the fact that Poland uses biometric passport technology, which is a secure passport identification system. They also underline that Canadians no longer require a visitor visa to visit Poland.

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to stand in the House to present five petitions on behalf of a substantial number of my constituents, including one family in particular.

On October 14, 2006, Gary and Julie Hunt lost their 16-year-old son Josh in a violent and senseless act. Lacey and Robbie Hunt lost their big brother.

I realize that the rules of the House do not allow me to state whether I agree or disagree with petitions I present. What I can do is recognize the tremendous amount of courage and emotional strength shown by Gary Hunt, as well as the families of Shane Rolston, Dylan McGillis, Nina Courtepatte and many others, who, despite their literally unimaginable pain, are sharing their stories to ensure that other families do not have to experience what they have had to endure.

As one observer noted, these families belong to a club that nobody would ever want to join and yet they have realized the importance of that club and in ensuring that it does not grow any larger.

This petition consists of approximately 3,900 signatures regarding the use of case law during court proceedings.

The JudiciaryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition consists of approximately 4,300 signatures regarding the election of an independent body to govern the code of conduct of judges.

The third petition consists of approximately 3,800 signatures regarding the election of judges by the citizens of Canada.

Identification Young OffendersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition consists of approximately 5,000 signatures regarding the public identification of young offenders who commit violent crimes.

Youth Criminal Justice ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fifth petition consists of approximately 8,300 signatures requesting that the government remove the Youth Criminal Justice Act altogether or at least change it so that serious and violent offenders are tried and sentenced as an adult, regardless of their age.

Passport OfficePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition from the citizens of Timmins. I have presented a number of these petitions in the past. We are still continuing to receive them.

The petition is with regard to the lack of passport services in northeastern Ontario and the fact that other rural regions in northwestern Ontario, for example, have walk-in passport offices but the citizens in my region must take a 12-hour bus ride to get passport service. We are a region that is absolutely dependent on passports because, as a mining sector, we have exploration and international work that goes on.

Whereas the citizens in southern Ontario have readily available, fully operational walk-in passport centres with expedited services, the residents of Timmins—James Bay are calling upon Parliament to approve the granting of a fully operational passport office in the city of Timmins to provide service to the people of northeastern Ontario, and that would include northwestern Quebec as well, to help alleviate the current workload and delays.

Fisheries ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to present a petition from concerned fishermen in British Columbia. Their concern is the wording of the Fisheries Act.

The petitioners claim that they have been denied honest input into the drafting of the act and the amendments. They call upon the government to withdraw the bill from Parliament so that appropriate discussions can take place.

Court Challenges ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present today in this House a petition, signed by the constituents of my riding, on the cancellation of the court challenges program by the Conservative government.

The petitioners are calling for one thing: the full reinstatement of the court challenges program. Recently, the former Conservative chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages decided not to study the cancellation of the court challenges program, when witnesses were supposed to testify in committee. We also know that the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, clearly indicated in his annual report that the Conservative government made a serious mistake by cancelling the court challenges program.

I believe that the petitioners are absolutely right to call upon this House—and not the government, because we know it is refusing to bring back the court challenges program—to fully reinstate this program to ensure that minorities are respected and have the tools to defend themselves and have their rights respected.

Old Age Security ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition today with over 2,000 signatures primarily in support of making necessary changes to the Old Age Security Act.

Presently the Old Age Security Act requires a person to reside in Canada for 10 years before she or he is entitled to receive a monthly pension. Although the OAS program is intended to be universal and to act as the cornerstone of Canada's retirement income system, this residency requirement effectively excludes many seniors from its benefits, especially new Canadians.

Therefore, the petitioners ask that the 10 year residency requirement be eliminated and that other programs to assist seniors receive more appropriate government funding.

I am pleased to table this petition on their behalf.

Human TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I continue to get petitions from all over the country. I have hundreds of names on this batch of petitions. The petitioners call upon the government to continue its good work to combat trafficking of persons.

As the House knows, this is a growing crime in Canada and a very serious one that we have to address.

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition from hundreds of Canadians from all over Canada. The petitioners call Parliament's attention to the fact that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known, yet Canada remains the second largest producer and exporter of asbestos in the world.

They are critical that Canada allows asbestos to be used in building materials, textiles and even in children's toys and that Canada spends millions subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

These hundreds of petitioners call upon Canada to ban asbestos in all of its forms and to end all government subsidies of this killer industry, both in Canada and abroad, and stop blocking international efforts to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam Convention.

IranPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition, initiated by the Calgary Jewish Community Council, that I would like to table in the House. There are over 300 signatures on it.

It concerns Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government. They have campaigned to delegitimize the State of Israel by among other means Holocaust denial and to incite citizens of Iran and other countries to hate Israeli Jewish citizens. The Iranian government has also given substantial material support, funding and training to organizations recognized by Canada as terrorist organizations for the purpose of terrorizing and killing Israelis.

The Government of Iran and its President Ahmadinejad have publicly and repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel as demonstrated, among other activities, by the parading in the streets of Tehran a Shahab-3 missile draped in the emblem “wipe Israel off the map”.

The president is also engaging Iran in the development of nuclear weapons in defiance of the Atomic Energy Commission and the United Nations.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to take all possible measures to prevent the leadership of Iran from developing nuclear weapons or inciting or carrying out genocide. They also call upon the Government of Canada to support and join with international efforts to prosecute Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to commit genocide in violation of the UN Genocide Convention.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

May 16th, 2007 / 3:35 p.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 question will be answered today: No. 194.

Question No. 194Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

With respect to the government’s policies regarding the implementation of Canada’s renewable fuels policies: (a) how does the government intend to implement its 5 percent renewable fuels policy; (b) which government agencies will be responsible for this program (i.e. energy, environment, agriculture, natural resources) and how will they be coordinated; (c) how will the government be assisting established farmers to participate in the renewable fuels industry, in particular those who may not be able to put up anything in the way of an initial investment as a result of an income crisis due to lost crops as a result of drought, flood, and other disasters beyond their control; and (d) will the government be introducing an administrative court to ensure that bureaucratic processes occur on time and application deadlines are met?

Question No. 194Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the federal government has been developing an integrated federal renewable fuels strategy with four key elements: a regulation to establish demand; programs to support farmer participation in the industry; a production incentive to stimulate domestic production; and programs for next generation technologies.

Last December, the first two elements of the strategy were announced. First, to stimulate demand the government intends to regulate an annual average renewable content of 5% in gasoline by 2010 and intends to regulate a 2% requirement for renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012. The intent to regulate was gazetted December 31, 2006, while discussions, consultations for this regulation and studies will continue to be undertaken throughout 2007.

Second, the government announced that $200 million will be delivered to assist farmers and rural communities seize new market opportunities in the biofuels sector. The $200 million will fund the ecoagriculture biofuels capital initiative, ecoABC, which will help bolster the development of biofuels with farmer participation. EcoABC is a federal four year initiative to provide repayable contributions of up to $25 million per project to help farmers overcome the challenges of raising the capital necessary for the construction or expansion of biofuel production facilities. Program details for ecoABC were announced April 23, 2007.

The government also recently announced an additional $10 million for the biofuels opportunities for producers initiative, BOPI, which helps agricultural producers develop sound business plans, as well as undertake feasibility studies or other studies to support the creation and expansion of the biofuels production capacity. Total funding for this program is now $20 million.

The final two elements of the strategy were announced in budget 2007. First, up to $1.5 billion over seven years will be allocated towards operating incentives for producers of renewable fuels. Incentive rates will be up to $0.10 per litre for ethanol and up to $0.20 per litre for biodiesel for the first three years, then decline thereafter. This program will ensure that Canada’s renewable fuels industry remains competitive, and is well placed to meet the intended regulatory requirements.

Budget 2007 also makes $500 million over eight years available to Sustainable Development Technology Canada, SDTC, to invest with the private sector in establishing large-scale demonstration facilities for the production of next generation renewable fuels. These new technologies, such as cellulosic ethanol, will allow renewable fuels to be produced from a diverse range of feedstocks in which Canada has a biomass advantage, including municipal waste, and agricultural and wood residues. The use of these feedstocks has the potential to substantially improve the environmental benefits of renewable fuels.

In response to (b), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, has overall responsibility for the renewable fuels strategy with Environment Canada, EC, and Natural Resources Canada, NRCan, responsible for contributing key strategy measures.

Environment Canada is the lead department responsible for creating domestic demand through the ethanol and biodiesel mandates.

AAFC is responsible for ecoABC and BOPI, the measures that provide opportunities for farmer participation.

NRCan is the lead department responsible for the production incentive, which is designed to encourage renewable fuels production to meet regulated demand.

NRCan, in collaboration with EC, is responsible for the development of next generation renewable fuels through the funding relationship with SDTC.

In response to (c), the government is providing opportunities for farmers to participate in the renewable fuels industry through the BOPI and ecoABC programs. EcoABC provides capital funding assistance for projects with a cumulative farmer participation rate of 5% or more, so farmers with smaller amounts to invest can work together with larger investors to trigger assistance under ecoABC.

In response to (d), all government programs have service standards in terms of being responsive to clients. However, one of the major challenges facing program administrators is receiving the necessary information from project proponents. Every effort is made to make applicants aware of these information requirements as there is a need to have adequate information to make informed program decisions using taxpayer funds.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

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

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.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, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks ActGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Before the question period, the hon. member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, had the floor. He has 12 minutes remaining in the time allotted for his remarks.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.