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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

National ParksOral Questions

Noon

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the member for Labrador back to the House. It speaks to his unique abilities in the House that I actually heard him long before I saw him here.

I think that the hon. member is supportive. He is well aware of the physical beauty of Mealy Mountains and the importance of that to the national park system. I take from his question a willingness to cooperate with the government on any future action that relates to the Mealy Mountains park.

AgricultureOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the minister and member for Mégantic—L'Érable promised, according to UPA's president quoted in La Terre de chez nous, to quickly implement a recovery program for potato farmers affected by the golden nematode outbreak.

When will the minister keep his promises? Does he agree with me that it is unacceptable to keep farmers in the dark and waiting more than two years?

AgricultureOral Questions

Noon

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, a number of measures were implemented in 2006, with $6.4 million given to those who suffered losses for that reason. Furthermore, in 2007, an additional $1.4 million was provided through the AgriStability program. And discussions about how to continue supporting affected farmers are ongoing.

Mining IndustryOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the last couple of years we have seen a lot of mining companies in Canada use freshwater habitat for tailing ponds; in other words, turning them into cheap waste disposal sites.

The reality is that no government and no society should ever use freshwater healthy aquatic systems as toxic tailing ponds; whereas the alternative would be to have independent tailing ponds for the mining operation.

Would the government commit to an action plan, as New Brunswick did earlier this year, to prevent freshwater habitat from being used as toxic tailing ponds for these mining companies?

Mining IndustryOral Questions

Noon

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in the House, we need to balance our responsibility as stewards of the environment with that of the economy. There is certainly no one in the environment department who would countenance toxic tailing ponds, to use the member's expression. Everything that is done with respect to the mining industry is done in a responsible manner. However, I can assure the member that I am closely looking at the question of tailing ponds, freshwater tailing ponds, and how and when they are used in the mining situation.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During question period the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance tried to make the point that in previous Liberal budgets there was not in fact a contingency reserve. As it happens, I have in front of me budgetary documents relating to 2005 and 2004, and in both cases the contingency reserve is provided for with complete transparency. Both of those budgets were adopted by the House of Commons. So, indeed, the contingency reserve was there, and was voted on and approved by the House of Commons in each and every case.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure that all hon. members are delighted to hear from the member for Wascana on this point, but it does sound like a matter for debate rather than a point of order to me. Facts often arise in debates.

Canadian Forces Superannuation ActRoutine Proceedings

Noon

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-201, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (deletion of deduction from annuity).

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my hon. friends and people of the riding of Sackville—Eastern Shore for re-electing me for the fifth time to represent them in the House of Commons.

On behalf of Roger Boutin, Mel Pittman and John Labelle, it is a great honour to introduce this legislation which would end the clawback from the pensions of our military personnel and RCMP personnel at age 65. We all in this House support the troops but the reality is that we need to learn to support them long after the uniform comes off and clawing back their pensions at age 65 is simply wrong. It is time to reverse that decision. This bill will do it.

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

Parliament of Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-202, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (members who cross the floor).

Mr. Speaker, as everyone who has been here in the House for a short while knows, I personally despise people who cross the floor to another party while they are sitting as elected representatives. My firm belief is that if members wish to cross the floor, members should resign their seat, seek the nomination of the new party, and allow their constituents to determine what party banner they should fly under in the House of Commons.

I encourage quick adoption of this bill to prevent floor crossing because the carpet between the two rows is very expensive. We cannot keep replacing it every time people cross it, so we need to put an end to that practice immediately.

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

Excise Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-203, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on the sale of home heating fuels).

Mr. Speaker, when the GST was introduced by the previous Conservative Party, our party clearly said that if it was put on essentials like home heating oil or electricity to heat people's homes it was going to have a detrimental effect. That is exactly what has happened. In Atlantic Canada we have the HST, where the provincial and federal taxes are combined on home heating oil and electricity to heat homes. A surprise to the government I know, but people in Canada actually have to heat their homes and putting a tax on that essential is simply wrong. We would like that eliminated to put more money into people's pockets. They should never be taxed on an essential such as heating their homes and we would like it removed immediately.

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

Sudan Accountability ActRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-204, An Act to encourage accountability by Canada and the international community with respect to Sudan.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to reintroduce the Sudan Accountability Act, a bill that seeks to encourage accountability and enhance the role of Canada and the international community in combatting the genocide in Darfur.

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Genocide Convention and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is only appropriate that this legislation be introduced to combat the first genocide of the 21st century through targeted divestment and international initiatives. We know that more than 400,000 people have died in this genocide by attrition in Darfur, that at least four million people are on a life support system and that two million have been internally displaced and are the target of continuing assaults.

As the student posters at Darfur rallies around the globe ask: If not us, who, and if not now, when?

Even though this bill alone will not put an end to the genocide, it is a vital step that we must take immediately.

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

Food Products Labelling ActRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-205, An Act respecting the labelling of food products.

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Winnipeg for seconding the bill.

Canadians are worried about what is in their food. They are worried about the lack of regulation and support by the government on food regulation. This bill would be explicit about what is in their food. It is something we should have had a long time ago. If the government wants to adopt this bill, I would be happy to give it to them.

I would like to thank Dr. Shiv Chopra and many others in the food safety movement for their help on this bill.

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

Excise Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on books or pamphlets).

Mr. Speaker, as an educator and as someone who supports access to books, one of the things we can do is eliminate the cost of books. We saw this recently with the cost of books going up. Punishing people who want to educate their children and themselves is something we should not do, and I believe that having the GST on books and education materials does just that.

This bill would alleviate the costs that people must pay to educate their children and themselves.

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

National Capital ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-207, An Act to amend the National Capital Act (appointments and meetings).

Mr. Speaker, I am reintroducing this bill and I want to give kudos to the government for good first steps on reforming the NCC. However, there is more that needs to be done.

This bill would bring into practice and force the public appointments commission to ensure people are appointed to agencies, boards and commissions based on merit. I believe this should happen, specifically with the National Capital Commission. I urge the government to adopt this bill.

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

Sale of Medals Prohibition ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-208, An Act to prohibit the sale of Canadian military and police medals.

Mr. Speaker, our honoured veterans are very proud of the medals they received. These medals are not currency on their chest. They are given for valour, service, honour and duty to their country. Most important, these men and women wear their medals in remembrance of those who never had the opportunity to wear their medals because they paid the ultimate sacrifice.

I do not believe these medals should end up at flea markets, garage sales or on e-Bay. They should not be sold. They are too honourable for that. The reality is that nobody should profit financially from the valour of other human beings.

I encourage quick adoption of the bill by the House at its earliest convenience.

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

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to move the following motion. I move:

That the following change be made to the membership of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs:

Kelly Block for Barry Devolin

As the House knows, Mr. Speaker, with the appointments of your Deputy Speakers this morning, this change has become necessary.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

(Motion agreed to)

Internet Child Pornography Prevention ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-209, An Act to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute pornographic material involving children.

Mr. Speaker, we see governments at all levels around the world moving toward this type of legislation. One of the most despicable crimes we have in the world involve pedophiles and individuals who use the Internet to lure unsuspecting children for despicable acts.

The premise of my bill would give ISP providers some responsibility to monitor the sites and encourage them to inform authorities of any information they may run across so direct action can be taken.

If the Conservatives believe in being tough on crime, this is something they should be working on immediately to help reduce child pornography on the Internet.

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

Canadian Forces Superannuation ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-210, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (marriage after the age of sixty years).

Mr. Speaker, if we truly believe in supporting our troops, we need to ensure that we support them long after the uniform comes off.

Many people do not realize that when a military person remarries after the age of 60 and then dies, the second spouse is not entitled to any of the person's pension benefits. This needs to change. There should be no discrimination when a military person or another person marries after the age of 60. That is there personal business. The reality is that those people who care for our veterans and others deserve to have that pension benefit.

We ask that the government remove that clause from the act so that these men and women can have these benefits as properly accorded to them.

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

Seniors' Day ActRoutine Proceedings

November 21st, 2008 / 12:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-211, An Act respecting a Seniors’ Day.

Mr. Speaker, this is a non-monetary bill.

Many seniors in my riding have asked that a special day be marked on the calendar honouring the work and sacrifices made by our seniors. It would be just a token gesture to pick a day on the calendar as seniors' day to recognize and honour those golden citizens, as we call them, for their great work in building this country, for keeping an eye on us and for helping to raise us.

This is a non-monetary bill and something which could be adopted unanimously fairly quickly.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-212, An Act to amend the Income tax Act (in-home care of relatives).

Mr. Speaker, as everybody knows, there is quite a sandwich generation in this country where individuals are looking after their children as well as looking after their seniors. In many cases, some seniors are infirm with various ailments and concerns.

We believe that any expenses incurred by those individuals should be tax deductible. We also believe they should be allowed time off work to provide care so that seniors and people with certain disabilities have the opportunity to stay at home and be cared for by their loved ones.

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

Financial Administration ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-213, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act and the Passport Services Fees Regulations (passports for veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their spouses or common-law partners, and seniors).

Mr. Speaker, this bill comes from other countries. The United States, for example, allows its military and federal policing forces the opportunity to have their passports for free. They do not necessarily have to pay that charge.

We think this is something our country can adopt as well. It is a small, additional benefit to thank our serving men and women for their services. When they need a passport to travel, they will not have to pay anything for it, as they do now.

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

Tartan Day ActRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-214, An Act respecting a Tartan Day.

Mr. Speaker, this is in honour of our great friend and former colleague, Mr. Bill Blaikie, who is a very proud Scotsman.

Many Scots groups across the country, in just about every province and territory, have a tartan day on April 6. We ask that the federal government, in a non-monetary way, recognize April 6 as national tartan day to honour and recognize all those people from the great land of Scotland who migrated to Canada over the years and helped build this country.

Of course, being from Nova Scotia, new Scotland, we think it would be a wonderful gesture to honour and recognize their great sacrifice and service to our country.

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