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House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was appointments.

Topics

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brandon—Souris for his outstanding representation for the people of that riding. He is a great voice for the people of Manitoba.

I was in Winnipeg on Friday and announced, along with the minister of training there, $110 million in new funds from the federal government to provide people who are underrepresented in the workforce a chance to get training. Aboriginals, recent immigrants and persons with disabilities will get the support they need to step into the workforce.

This is an example of our philosophy that all Canadians deserve a hand up to help them succeed like everyone else has come to know.

Federal Protected AreasOral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

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

Mr. Speaker, the Pointe-au-Père national wildlife area has been completely abandoned by the federal government—the sewers are overflowing, dogs run loose and migratory birds have deserted it.

In his report, the environment commissioner states that a number of federal protected areas are in danger due to a lack of management and sufficient resources. I would add a lack of political will as well.

Will the government stop claiming to protect natural environments and finally act responsibly? And above all, will it restore the Pointe-au-Père site?

Federal Protected AreasOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government has made it a priority to enforce legislation in order to protect our environment. We are working very hard. I appreciate the comments from my Quebec colleague. We found more money in last year's budget. We want to protect these birds and the ecosystem. That said, we are more than ready to work with our colleague from Rimouski.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the last election the Prime Minister personally promised to include the victims of the Île-à-la Crosse residential school in the comprehensive federal settlement. There were no ifs, ands or buts. Île-à-la Crosse would be covered, period, not negotiable. However, last month these victims were told they were out.

Why did the Prime Minister made this unmistakable promise and then brutally break his word?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.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, I would like to report that we have handled over 80,000 applications now under the residential schools compensation. Over $1.3 billion has been paid out. Our government believes in properly compensating the victims of that residential schools era.

There is also a process in place to ensure that any school can be considered and even reconsidered for application as a school that qualifies. This process has been approved by the court, by the Assembly of First Nations, and the government is pleased to be part of that.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Mr. Alain Joyandet, France's secretary of state for cooperation and francophonie.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Canada-Japan TreatyRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, under Section 32(2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, a treaty entitled “Exchange of Notes between the Government of Canada and the Government of Japan constituting an Agreement on Special Measures concerning Supply Assistance Activities in Support of Counter-Terrorism Maritime Interdiction Activities”.

An explanatory memorandum is enclosed with the treaty.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3 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 two petitions.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-53, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime).

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

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

April 14th, 2008 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee of Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to inherent difficulties in the practice, procedure and rules of the House of Commons.

Unborn Victims of Crime ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured, once again, to rise to present petitions from across the country on Bill C-484, the unborn victims of crime act.

The petitioners recognize that when a pregnant woman is wanting to bring her pregnancy to term and to give life and birth to her child, that no one has the right to take that choice and that child away from her.

Therefore, I am presenting today some 1,500 additional names on two petitions, and I am very honoured to do that. I appreciate the support from Saskatchewan, Weyburn, Spy Hill, Langenburg, Assiniboia, Saskatoon, and then from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saint John, New Brunswick and Sydney, Nova Scotia. The bulk of these names come from there. Support is right across the country.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present yet again another income trust broken promise petition. It comes from residents of my riding of Mississauga South who remember the Prime Minister boasting about his apparent commitment to accountability when he said, “The greatest fraud is a promise not kept”.

The petitioners want to remind the Prime Minister that he promised never to tax income trusts, but he broke that promise when he recklessly imposed a 31.5% punitive tax, which permanently wiped out over $25 billion of the hard-earned retirement savings of over two million Canadians, particularly seniors.

Therefore, these petitioners call upon the Conservative minority government to: first, admit that the decision to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions, as demonstrated by the finance committee; second, apologize to those who were unfairly harmed by this broken promise, on Halloween albeit; and finally, repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.

Unborn Victims of Crime ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition on behalf of a number of constituents in the St. Catharines and Niagara community in regard to Bill C-484. The member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park also introduced a petition, and I would like to do the same.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of a number of Canadians from Brochet, Opaskwayak and The Pas in the Churchill riding. They recognize that despite the fact that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by an overwhelming majority, the Prime Minister and the Conservative government voted against it. This is the first time in history a Canadian government has voted against a major international human rights agreement at the UN.

The petitioners call on the government to reverse its position and fully ratify the declaration and implement all the standards therein.

Food SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition signed by Canadians from coast to coast to coast asking the government to prohibit the use of hormones, antibiotics, rendered slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms and pesticides in the production of food.

Canadians care deeply about the safety of their food and how it relates to human health. Governments can and should provide Canadians with a stable, but most important, healthy food supply, void of contaminants and toxins.

Student LoansPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, after numerous meetings with the students of Lakehead University and Confederation College in my riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River, I am presenting a needs based grants petition for the over 345,000 students in public institutions. They bring to the attention of the government that the average debt of a graduating student is $25,000, and that student loan debt is increasing in Canada by $1.5 million a day.

SeniorsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Independent

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table another petition in support of my motion M-383, which was recently debated and adopted by a majority of the House.

This petition has signatures from 700 residents of eastern Quebec, who are calling on the government to improve the guaranteed income supplement for our least fortunate seniors, so that their combined benefits bring them above the poverty line. This petition also requests that guaranteed income supplement recipients be allowed to work the equivalent of 15 hours per week at the minimum wage of their province of residence.

I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition, and who joined together to ensure that the Conservative government takes care of our seniors and provides them with meaningful benefits.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine 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, the following question will be answer today: Question No. 213.

Question No. 213Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Did the government conduct a gender-based analysis of measures in the Budget 2008 and, if so: (a) what departments, agencies, crown corporations, groups or experts were consulted and what were their recommendations; and (b) what was the government’s response to these groups and their recommendations?

Question No. 213Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, where feasible and appropriate, a gender-based analysis was conducted on measures in the budget presented to the House of Commons on February 26, 2008.

The federal budget preparation process is a broad exercise involving many individuals and groups. It is an ongoing process of consultations, policy development and cabinet committee deliberations. The Department of Finance is unique in that it plays two roles within the Government of Canada: it is a central agency but it also develops and implements policies. In its role as a central agency, the Department of Finance assesses policies proposed by other departments. Therefore, in these circumstances, departments that sponsor the policies are responsible for ensuring that the full range of considerations are analyzed and assessed--including their gender implications – as they bring forward their policy proposals. In its role of developing and implementing policies, the department has adopted a systemic approach to conducting gender-based analysis--that is all budget policy proposals going to the minister include a section on gender-based analysis and gender-based analysis is developed and conducted when the policies are being developed, so it is an intrinsic part of policy work. The systemic approach allows for gender-based analysis to be included from the earliest stage of development of a policy.

In preparing budgets, the government’s actions and decisions are informed by consultations that are thorough and comprehensive. Specifically:

The Minister of Finance holds pre-budget consultations in person, which gives him first-hand knowledge of the views of various stakeholders, including non-government organizations, business, provinces and others;

The Minister of Finance also hosts on-line consultations which, this year, took place from mid-January to mid-February and attracted nearly 3,000 submissions from a broad cross-section of individual Canadians. More information on the online pre-budget consultations for budget 2008 can be found at http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/prebud08_e.html); and

Department of Finance officials consult with representatives of all sectors of society throughout the year.

Additionally, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance conducts pre-budget hearings across the country each fall, gathering submissions and testimony from individuals and stakeholder groups. These submissions and the committee’s report are closely monitored by the Government. More information on the submissions and House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance report can be found at http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/committee/392/fina/reports/rp3253372/finarp03/finarp03-e.pdf)

The knowledge gained from extensive and multifaceted consultations by the minister, officials and the finance committee plays an essential role in informing the government’s understanding of the concerns and perspectives of stakeholders, as well as the impact of proposed policy initiatives on various segments of the population.

The budget presented to the House of Commons on February 26, 2008 and the ensuing legislative process mark the culmination of extensive deliberations and consultations on many fronts. In this regard, the policy directions and specific measures articulated in budget 2008 represent the government’s response to the many groups and individuals consulted.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine 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, if Question No. 214 could be made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 214Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

With regard to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, what was the funding amount allocated, granted, contributed or loaned to each recipient through all of its various programs in each federal electoral district within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, in each of the years 2003 to 2007, inclusive?