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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

DecorumPoints of Order

10 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to the point of order raised by the whip of the Bloc Québécois who accused me of trying to do something indirectly that I could not do directly. That was not my intention. My intention was to represent the views of my constituents.

At the end of the speech I made in the House, and realizing I had extra time, I read some emails from constituents and, unfortunately, some were found to be offensive. I apologize to those who were offended by those remarks.

DecorumPoints of Order

10 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to respond to a point of order raised recently by the whip of the Bloc Québécois who accused me of trying to do something indirectly that I could not do directly. That was certainly not my intention. My intention was simply to represent and present the views of my constituents.

At the end of my speech I realized I had extra time so I read some emails from my constituents and, unfortunately, some were found to be offensive. I apologize to those who were offended by those remarks.

Tabling of DocumentsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to present to the House a message from Her Excellency the Governor General signed by her own hand.

Inuvialuit Final AgreementRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, under the provisions of Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the 2005-2007 annual report of the Inuvialuit final agreement implementation coordinating committee.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the 2004-05 annual report of the Inuvialuit final agreement implementation coordinating committee.

Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim AgreementRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, under the provisions of Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the 2004-05 annual report of the implementation committee on the Sahtu Dene and Métis comprehensive land claim agreement.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the 2005-2007 annual report of the implementation committee on the Sahtu Dene and Métis comprehensive land claim agreement.

Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim AgreementRoutine Proceedings

January 29th, 2009 / 10:05 a.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, under the provisions of Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the 2005-2007 annual report of the implementation committee on the Gwich'in comprehensive land claim agreement.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-6, An Act respecting the safety of consumer products.

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

Marine Liability ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Conservative Nunavut, NU

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Marine Liability Act and the Federal Courts Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

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

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) respecting its participation in the Francophone Conference, Hungary National Assembly, which took place in Budapest, Hungary on October 30 and 31, 2008.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years).

Mr. Speaker, this is an extremely important bill because in Canada there are no mandatory minimum sentences for human trafficking convictions, not even for children. The October report of the Canada-U.S. consultation, in preparation for the world congress against sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, recommended that Canada amend its Criminal Code to provide a mandatory minimum penalty for child trafficking.

In Peel county right now numerous trafficking charges are on the table, hopefully, with convictions, and this kind of bill would ensure that traffickers have very stiff sentences. This is very mandatory.

As members know, last year a Niagara man was convicted of human trafficking. He earned $350,000 off a 15-year-old girl over the period of two years. He only received three years and received a credit for 404 days of time already served.

These mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking of children are of paramount importance here in Canada.

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

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-269, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (victim — trafficking in persons).

Mr. Speaker, this bill would amend section 24 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by adding subsection (3).

It is important to underscore one aspect of this subsection. With this amendment, an immigration officer would no longer be able to take into account the possible participation of a victim of trafficking in persons in a criminal investigation or proceedings in respect of that criminal offence.

I will explain why I am proposing this. Currently under the legislation, when a person is a victim of human trafficking, the immigration officer takes into account whether the alleged victim will collaborate or not in a criminal investigation into the criminal offence. The problem, however, is that many of these victims are so traumatized that often they do not have the physical, psychological or mental ability to participate in an investigation or possible criminal proceedings.

I hope this bill will enjoy the support of my colleagues. I may say that those organizations, NGOs in Canada that work on this issue, are very supportive of this amendment.

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

Electoral Boundaries Readjustement ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-270, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to change the name of the electoral district of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine—Dorval. I have introduced this bill in each new parliamentary session since 2004, when Dorval was added to my riding, but the Electoral Boundaries Commission has refused to add the word “Dorval” despite the municipality's request and despite petitions from voters in the entire riding. This is the fourth or fifth time I have introduced this bill. I am doing this at the request of a large number of my constituents from Dorval as well as Lachine, Montreal West and NDG who are asking that Dorval be added.

I hope that all members will support this bill.

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

Textile Labelling ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-271, An Act to amend the Textile Labelling Act.

Mr. Speaker, my bill would require labels on clothing to include a reference number that consumers could use to identify the name and address of the factory where an item of clothing was produced. This measure has been highly recommended by a number of advocacy groups, including the Ethical Trading Action Group and Amnesty International.

If the bill passes, Canadians would have access to even more information when making their purchases.

For those of us who believe that under no circumstances should we benefit from the exploitation of workers in poor countries, knowing exactly where a piece of clothing was produced will allow us to vote with our feet by refusing to buy clothing made in factories where conditions are unacceptable.

According to Amnesty International and the Ethical Trading Action Group, if the public knows exactly where products are being manufactured, businesses will then have to self-regulate for fear that civil society will use this new tool to publicize the names of the companies responsible for unfair employment practices.

I hope the House will i support this private member's bill.

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

Mathieu Da Costa Day ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-272, An Act to establish Mathieu Da Costa Day.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me, as a Canadian and a Quebecker of African descent, to introduce this bill, which would make every first Monday of February Mathieu Da Costa Day. For those of my House colleagues who may not have heard of him, Mathieu Da Costa was an interpreter. He is credited with being the first black man in Canada and was likely an important player in European exploration of the continent. Da Costa is believed to have worked alongside both Pierre du Gua de Monts, a leader in the establishment of French settlements in eastern Canada, and Samuel de Champlain, who selected the site for the settlement that later became Quebec City. As we all know, Quebec City is celebrating a major milestone: its 400th anniversary.

I hope that I can count on my colleagues' support in passing this bill.

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

Competition ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-273, An Act to amend the Competition Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (right to repair).

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to bring forward a bill that I believe all members can support. It is the right to repair bill and it looks at two different acts: the Competition Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. This bill is important because of the changes in the auto industry with regard to on-board diagnostic equipment. That change has led to a number of different servicing requirements that are necessary yet difficult to obtain.

I would point out that the Canadian auto industry is not alone in terms of the consequences of this bill. Similar legislation in the United States and Europe has adapted different techniques to deal with the fact that the new types of technology create problems for people and consumers who service their vehicles. Hence, this bill would allow the proper process and procedures so that independent automobile associations can procure the data, tools and materials necessary to fix vehicles.

It is important for competition as well as for the environment. That is one of the reasons why Pollution Probe and the Canadian Automobile Association are supporting this bill. I would suggest that all members of the House get behind this bill in order to have a good, progressive change that will protect Canadian jobs.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-274, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for gifts).

Mr. Speaker, this bill would amend the Income Tax Act and provide for greater donations and return for those individuals who give to the not for profit sector, charities, organizations and groups. In particular, the proposed bill mirrors the political system, where for the first $1,275 that a person gives, charities will be able to issue a greater tax break back to the middle and lower income earners, who will get a better return. It treats the system fairly.

This is a significant change that would help the industry. The charitable industry sector is around 8% of the Canadian economy. It employs two million people in great causes, everything from seniors to children, universities and colleges. I would request that all members support this bill. It is important for economic stimuli. It is ironic that the last two budgets passed by this Parliament, the Conservatives actually reduced the amount of charitable tax one gets back as an individual Canadian citizen.

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

Patent ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-275, An Act to amend the Patent Act (infringement of a patent).

Mr. Speaker, drug prices are rising quickly in Canada and although our drug prices are still lower than some other OECD nations, ours are rising faster than all those other countries. For example, drug costs have increased by close to 300% between 1985 and 2000.

We would actually mirror a system that has been changed in the United States. We would stop the automatic injunctions right now, where generic drugs are blocked to get on to the market; something that even President Bush fixed over in the American system. That just shows members how extreme the Canadian model is right now. We are behind the Bush administration in terms of changing and protecting its consumers in the United States.

I would ask that this government support this bill, so that we can make sure that drug costs are brought to bear and we can actually put money toward our health care system in a better and more efficient way.

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

Workplace Psychological Harassment Prevention ActRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-276, An Act to prevent psychological harassment in the workplace and to amend the Canada Labour Code.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and introduce this bill, an important bill that would deal with psychological harassment in the workplace. This bill would fill a gap in that there would be operations as well as procedures put in place to protect workers from psychological harassment.

We have seen a number of cases across this country where workers have been intimidated. This bill would correct that by providing the proper justice to the file and making sure that there are penalties for those who perpetrate this type of crime on individuals in the workforce.

This is my second attempt to table this bill. I would also note that the provincial NDP is supporting a similar bill in the Ontario legislature and Saskatchewan has already passed this law. This would make it uniform across the country.

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

Sri LankaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by many people in my riding and across the GTA who are calling on the Government of Canada to pressure the government of Sri Lanka not to deny its Tamil population food, shelter, medicine and other fundamental necessities; to allow the UN and other international relief agencies access to the areas affected by the conflict and to stop shelling and bombing civilian habitats, hospitals, schools and places of worship; and to take active and concrete measures by providing leadership to convince the international community and agencies to allow an international UN observer panel to monitor the human rights violations and bring the perpetrators to justice as recommended by the UN High Commission for Human Rights and the Governor General of Canada. Regarding the terrible humanitarian crisis that is happening in Sri Lanka today, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to take action.

Interprovincial BridgePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to table a petition. This one is from constituents of Ottawa—Vanier as opposed to the other ones that I have tabled every day since the start of this session of Parliament, which were from the National Capital Region.

The petition is concerning the necessity of a new bridge to allow for the movement of heavy trucks to be relocated outside of the heart of the nation's capital. In particular, the petitioners wish the government to instruct the National Capital Commission to proceed with a detailed assessment of an interprovincial bridge linking the Canotek industrial park to the Gatineau airport which is option seven of the first phase of the interprovincial crossing environmental assessment.

Animal CrueltyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions here. The first one is a stop animal cruelty petition. The petitioners ask that the Criminal Code be amended so animal cruelty becomes a crime that is much more significant. To this day a number of different animal abuses have taken place, including in my constituency of Windsor West where there has been basically no justice brought to bear. The petitioners ask that this be changed and that there be more respect with regard to animal cruelty in this country.

DarfurPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

The second petition that I have, Mr. Speaker, is a petition to act on the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to engage the international community in whatever way is necessary to end the atrocities. Each signature in the petition represents 100 innocent citizens of Darfur who have been killed. I thank those petitioners who have gone out of their way to make sure this petition goes forward.

CharitiesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another set of petitions that support my attempt to change the tax charity act. This is a bill which I have reintroduced this morning. It calls on amending the tax charity act.

Right now about 8% of the economy is in the charitable industry, but it has received no benefit, including no economic stimuli in the recent budget. In fact, we have actually reduced the amount of charitable donation one can deduct as a citizen in the last two Conservative budgets. Thousands of people are supporting this change.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

I have another petition, Mr. Speaker, with regard to employment insurance.

It is a very timely petition, given the fact that the budget did not act on improving EI accessibility for workers across the country. In fact, not a single new person will be able to access employment insurance. All the government is proposing to do is extend the benefit weeks by five weeks.

The petitioners are asking that EI be reformed so that claimants would actually get 55% of their benefit back and there would be greater eligibility. They particularly note that $54 billion was taken from the employment insurance fund and not returned to workers and that is outright theft.

Animal CrueltyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition with regard to stopping animal cruelty.

There are hundreds of people who have asked for the animal cruelty act to be changed. We have a number of situations not only as I mentioned in Windsor West but also across the country where animals have been cruelly treated and where there has been no justice on the file.

A number of times Parliament has tried to correct this but it has not come to full fruition, so the petitioners are asking that the Criminal Code be amended so there will be greater justice regarding animal cruelty.