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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was troops.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, a new dawn is breaking out of the black.

I absolutely do agree with my colleague from Bourassa who said something very similar, that we cannot have soldiers participating in this mission without the possibility of combat. Clearly what we are seeing in Afghanistan today with the operational mentoring and liaison training that is going on with the Afghan forces is that they are building capacity each and every day. The clear goal and what is envisioned in the motion is to continue to raise that capacity where Afghan soldiers will eventually be able to provide their own security.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, what we really need is a new dawn or a new start in Afghanistan.

All hon. members of this House support our brave women and men in the armed forces. That support must be more than words. Already the Auditor General reports that 27% of returning soldiers suffer from mental or physical injuries. However, current resources are simply inadequate, even for the current mission.

Will the minister support increased resources for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or acquired brain injury? Or does he agree with his parliamentary secretary who said that MPs should not meet with the families of those suffering from--

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is the NDP members at their hypocritical best, because as they well know, we doubled the amount of OSI clinics in this country in our last budget, and they stood in the House and voted against that budget. They never stand up for our men and women in uniform, including our veterans. Their record is deplorable.

I ask every member in the House to check the record when it comes to defending our men and women in uniform and our veterans.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, a year ago this month, the government announced it would fund the Manitoba floodway specifically under the Canadian strategic infrastructure fund. A month later, the province was informed the funding would be taken instead from Manitoba's share of a different infrastructure program, short-changing the province by $170 million.

Why is this meanspirited government playing a shell game with Manitoba? Why will it not honour its original commitment? Why will it not give Manitoba its full fair share of infrastructure funding?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, when our government got to the cupboard, the cupboard was bare. All that was there were commitments by the prior government, with no money in place.

My colleague, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Prime Minister said that we would come up with that money. The hon. member should check the record. Manitoba got its money. The floodway is progressing as it should. That member should be ashamed. She did nothing for Manitoba.

Human ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate in my province of Ontario dropped again last month. More than 13,000 new jobs were created last month alone, including more than 10,000 new full time jobs. Despite the fact that the Ontario economy is growing and performing exceptionally well, the government of Ontario is criticizing this government's support for Ontario workers.

Can the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development please tell the House and the people of Ontario what this government has done to support the workers of my province, particularly those in the vulnerable industries?

Human ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, some people just cannot stand good news.

According to Statistics Canada, 75% of people in Ontario who contribute to EI are eligible for benefits. Ontario receives more in income support than any province, but the real good news is that jobs are being created. There were 95,000 new jobs in Ontario over the last year. We are helping those people retrain who do not have jobs and leading sectors that are restructuring. We made a major announcement last week of $1.2 billion to help the people of Ontario step into those jobs in the hottest labour market in our history.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, statistics often do not tell the whole story. According to observers, although the poverty rate among seniors has declined, some are living in increasingly alarming conditions. What kind of society do we have when our seniors are forced to turn to food banks, as is the case more and more?

The Conservative government could make a commitment right now to improve living conditions for seniors by raising the guaranteed income supplement above the poverty line.

Will the Minister of Finance include concrete measures to that end in the budget?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

3 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my friend that I think all right-thinking people are concerned about seniors who are struggling to make ends meet. That is why we have introduced a number of different measures to lift the burden, including raising the guaranteed income supplement two years in a row over and above the inflation rate and of course reducing taxes so that many seniors no longer have to pay income tax. We have reduced the GST.

Most of all, seniors today have a voice at the cabinet table to make sure their concerns are heard, something that is unique to this government in recent history.

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the plot thickens in the AECL affair. We know that the Conservatives want to privatize AECL and they are removing, step by step, the blockages to a foreign sale of AECL.

The regulator gave AECL a pre-approval for its Candu ACR-100 for Ontario, but Linda Keen cancelled it in 2006 because the CNSC did not have the resources to do the job. Less than a month after Ms. Keen was fired, AECL has the Candu ACR-100 pre-approval back.

Is this why Ms. Keen was fired as Canada's top nuclear safety officer? So that AECL could be sold off to the highest foreign bidder?

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, of course with respect to Ms. Keen I cannot comment on that matter as it is before the courts.

Decisions made by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission are completely within its authority and completely at arm's length from this government. I can say that in November our government announced a review of AECL. We are collecting all the information. We want the best advice before us before we make any decision on its future. We are looking forward to coming back and reporting that information to the House in the coming months.

Response to Oral QuestionPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period the Minister of Justice referred to my question as having been referred to the courts. With all due respect, I was not referring to the court challenges program although it was mentioned. My question had to do with the fact that not only have the advocacy programs for women been cut, but we continue not to have them. The answer was totally inappropriate.

Response to Oral QuestionPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I think the hon. member for Beaches—East York, with her long experience in the House, is aware that Speakers do not rule on whether answers have anything to do with questions. I have no views in respect to that matter.

The hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre is rising on another point of order.

Committee Amendments to Bill C-21Points of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to respond to the point of order raised on Thursday, February 14, by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians concerning two amendments to Bill C-21 adopted by the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to take up too much of the House's time. However, I do feel that it is important to have a couple of items on record before you give your ruling. The parliamentary secretary shared that in his opinion two amendments adopted in the standing committee should be ruled out of order because he felt they went beyond the scope of the bill.

First, I would like to quote from the sixth edition of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms. At page 205 it states in article 689(2):

The committee may so change the provisions of the bill...other than that which was referred. A committee may negative every clause and substitute new clauses, if relevant to the bill as read a second time.

Article 694 on page 206 states:

Amendments may be made in every part of a bill, whether in the title, preamble, clauses or schedules; clauses may be omitted; new clauses and schedules may be added.

Beauchesne's sixth edition also states on page 205 that:

The objects (also referred to as the principle or scope) of a bill are stated in its long title, which should cover everything contained in the bill as it was introduced.

The long title of Bill C-21, as listed on the bill's cover page under the number assigned to the bill, is “An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act”. Therefore, the principle and/or scope are defined in this title, that is, to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The two amendments in question that are contested by the parliamentary secretary are essentially the addition of new clauses: an interpretive clause, clause 1.2, and a non-derogation clause, clause 1.1. The reason for a non-derogation clause is of much importance, as legislation must be consistent with the constitutional obligations of the Crown.

The clause is important to first nations as it is an affirmation of their rights that are set out in the Constitution and ensures that those rights are respected with respect to any new legislation. A non-derogation clause protects established and asserted aboriginal treaty rights recognized in section 35 of the Constitution. The amendment dealing with this non-derogation clause was accepted by the committee chair.

With respect to the interpretive clause, a review of the minutes of the relevant meeting reveals that the chair admitted that he had received mixed advice from “legislative people” as to its admissibility.

These two additional amendments in no way alter the principle or the “scope” of the bill as stated in the long title, that is, to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act. Furthermore, the parliamentary secretary admitted himself that the said bill contained three specific items: first, it repealed section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act; second, it provided for a parliamentary review of the repeal within five years; third, it included a transitional provision concerning the implementation of the repeal of section 67.

Again, the two amendments in no way alter these three items as presented by the parliamentary secretary. The bill, as amended, still proposes to repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. It still proposes a review and a transitional period for the said repeal. Therefore, I cannot see how the scope or the principle has been affected.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request that you rule these amendments to be in order and allow the House as a whole to express itself when the bill is called for debate at report stage.

Committee Amendments to Bill C-21Points of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I will respond very briefly to the point of order raised by the member for Winnipeg South Centre as I have already made a submission to you on this matter and, of course, we look forward to your ruling.

I will speak to one important element. The bill is very narrow in its scope. Its scope was simply to repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The member for Nunavut, in response to my submission, stated that she thought it was necessary to go beyond the scope of the bill. She actually admitted that the Liberals were going beyond the scope of the bill with the amendments they brought forward.

Mr. Speaker, should the ruling keep these amendments in place, we will see a precedent being set in the House of Commons that I do not think is appropriate for future bills that will be brought before the House. I look forward to your ruling to maintain the consistency of parliamentary procedure.

Committee Amendments to Bill C-21Points of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary and the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre for their comments on this matter and I will take them under advisement before I render a decision.

The EnvironmentRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with leave of the House, and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I would like to table, in both official languages, two treaties, entitled “International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (2001)” and “The Supplementary Fund Protocol of 2003 to the 1992 International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund”. Each treaty includes an explanatory note.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 24 petitions.

Agricultural Marketing Programs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act.

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

Agricultural Marketing Programs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There has been some considerable anticipation about the bill that was just tabled and now that it is in the public domain and members will have an opportunity to examine the provisions of the bill in detail, I wonder if the government would be prepared to consider, later this afternoon, the opportunity to gather unanimous consent in the House to expedite the passage of the legislation, assuming that what is in the bill measures up to how it was described in principle in advance.

I think there may be a disposition to move quickly on the legislation, perhaps even by the procedure of using the committee of the whole and expedite the provisions that are in the bill.

Agricultural Marketing Programs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am not sure this is a point of order but I will hear from the government House leader in case he thinks it is.

Agricultural Marketing Programs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, as my friend is aware, we are making efforts to discuss with the other parties ways of dealing with the bill that the government has introduced on agricultural support and to have it dealt with as quickly as possible by the House, potentially by extending hours this evening, as well as extending hours with the objective of allowing the Afghanistan debate to continue. Those discussions I hope to be able to get back to the House on later this afternoon.

Agricultural Marketing Programs ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure we all look forward to hearing from the House leaders on this matter.

Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

February 25th, 2008 / 3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth and fifth reports of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in relation to aboriginal women and aboriginal women's shelters.

Aboriginal communities and aboriginal women in particular face discrimination and a disproportionate amount of violence. Therefore, the committee requests that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development increase the current core funding for aboriginal women's shelters and put a stop to the delays in evaluating these shelters.

As well, the committee requests that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages reinstate the former criteria for women's programs as the removal of advocacy penalizes disproportionately aboriginal women's groups.