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House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was home.

Topics

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Carlos Navarrete Ruiz, Speaker of the Senate of the United Mexican States, and a delegation of members of the Mexican Congress.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 44 petitions.

Air Passenger Bill of RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my petition is a call on the government to adopt Canada's first air passenger bill of rights. Bill C-310 would provide compensation to air passengers flying with all Canadian carriers, including charters, anywhere they fly. It includes measures on compensation for overbooked flights, cancelled flights and unreasonable tarmac delays. It deals with late and misplaced baggage. It deals with all-inclusive pricing by airlines in their advertising.

It is inspired by the European Union law. Air Canada is already operating under the European laws for their flights to Europe, so the issue is why Air Canada customers should not receive better treatment in Europe than in Canada. It would ensure that passengers would be kept informed of flight changes, whether they were delays or cancellations. The new rules would be required to be posted in the airports and on the airlines to inform passengers of their rights and the process to file for compensation.

Bill C-310 is not meant to punish the airlines. If they follow the rules, they would not have to pay one dollar in compensation to travellers.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to support Bill C-310, which would introduce Canada's first air passenger bill of rights.

SuicidePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by roughly 2,000 people from virtually all across Canada.

The petitioners call upon Canada to enable prosecution of those who encourage or counsel someone to commit suicide by updating our Criminal Code to reflect the new realities of 21st century broadband access and to fund education programs to help Canada's vulnerable youth protect themselves from online predators and find appropriate community support resources.

Status of WomenPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to present three very different petitions.

The first is a petition from many hundreds of residents in Manitoba, calling upon the Prime Minister of Canada to initiate and implement an independent investigation into the missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. Like me, these citizens are gravely concerned with the disappearance of over 500 aboriginal women and girls across the country. It is a national tragedy that must be addressed by the federal government.

I join these citizens and call upon the Prime Minister to launch an investigation into this matter.

DarfurPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am please to present a second petition from residents of Manitoba.

The petitioners have expressed support for an international criminal court process that is robust, efficient and sensitive to its short-term impacts on civilians against Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged with murder, rape, extermination and forcible transfer by the ICC for acts against the people of Darfur.

The signatories call upon the government to honour our commitments to UNAMID and advocate for the mission's full deployment. For the ICC's work to be effective, it must be supported by a robust peace process.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the third petition I am presenting is again from residents of Manitoba, this time supporting a universal declaration on animal welfare. The declaration is an agreement among people in nations to recognize that animals are sentient beings and can suffer, to respect their welfare needs and to end animal cruelty for good.

This would be the first international agreement on animal welfare, a very important initiative.

VeteransPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by a number of residents of Waterloo region.

The petitioners call upon the House to review and expand the level of medical facilities and services that are available to our veterans, with a particular emphasis on the number of beds that are available in rest homes.

Status of WomenPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Immigration referred to gender equality in the new leaflet that the government put out. As we well know, the actions of the government have been quite the contrary.

The petitioners from southern Ontario and eastern Ontario, several hundred names, call upon the government to support my motion, Motion No. 384, which would rescind the provisions of Bill C-10, the budget bill from earlier this year, which violates workers' rights to collective bargaining, including arbitral awards and equal pay for work of equal value.

The government has to walk its talk. It is all well and good to produce a leaflet, but it is another thing to take concrete action to enhance women's equality in the country. That is exactly what these petitioners are asking the government to do.

Protection of Human LifePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from hundreds of Canadians from British Columbia.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death. They note that Canada as a country respects human rights, that in 1988 Canada struck down a law and that there is no law to protect the unborn at any stage of development.

They therefore call upon Parliament to enact legislation that would protect the unborn.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from the constituents of my riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

The petitioners request the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration on animal welfare.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.

Since last April, I have been working with residents in my community who are former employees of Nortel and who continue to fight for pension fairness. These pensioners call upon Parliament to amend the Company Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to protect the rights of all Canadian employees and to ensure that employees laid off by a company and who receive a pension or long-term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings obtain preferred creditor status over all other unsecured creditors.

They also ask that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act be amended to ensure that employee-related claims are paid from the proceeds of Canadian asset sales before funds are permitted to leave the country.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition concerns a private member's motion that was recently passed, sponsored by the member for Scarborough Southwest, concerning animal cruelty. It passed the House, but it left out the reference to the United Nations, which I think is unfortunate.

The petitioners point out that there is scientific consensus and public acknowledgement that animals can feel pain and suffer and that all efforts should be made to prevent animal cruelty and reduce animal suffering. They also point out that over one billion people around the world rely on animals for their livelihood and many others rely on them for companionship. Finally, they point out that animals are often significantly affected by natural disasters and yet are seldom considered during relief efforts.

The petitioners therefore call upon the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration of animal welfare.

EthiopiaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, next month it will be one year that Birtukan Mideksa, the Ethiopian opposition leader, has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Ethiopian junta. I have over a hundred petitioners from the cities of Toronto, Mississauga, from Scarborough and southern Ontario.

The petitioners call upon the government to use all diplomatic means at its disposal, including using the forum that is provided at the United Nations, to exert maximum pressure on the government of Ethiopia to immediately and unconditionally release Madame Mideksa and allow her to participate fully in her position as the leader of a political party in Ethiopia.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

November 16th, 2009 / 3:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 427, 428, 433, 437 and 445.

Question No. 427Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

With regard to the potential extradition of Marc Emery: (a) what discussions have taken place between Canadian and American authorities since the time of his arrest in July 2005; (b) who participated in these discussions; and (c) what positions were taken by the Canadian and American authorities at the varying stages of the discussion and negotiation process?

Question No. 427Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the International Assistance Group is Canada’s central authority dealing with incoming extradition requests like the one for Mr. Emery. The Office of International Affairs is the United States of America’s central authority responsible for making the request for Mr. Emery’s extradition. As part of their responsibilities, the International Assistance Group and the Office of International Affairs regularly discuss matters relating to extradition requests, including discussions with respect to the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the request and the timing of proceedings in Canada. These discussions occurred on the Emery request in the ordinary course of reviewing the request for extradition.

On July 22, 2005, the International Assistance Group on behalf of the Minister of Justice issued an authority to proceed pursuant to section 15 of the Extradition Act as a result of which counsel for the Attorney General of Canada applied for the issuance of an arrest warrant pursuant to section 16 of the Extradition Act. Mr. Emery was arrested on July 29, 2005. He consented to his committal on September 28, 2009. A consent to committal is an admission that the evidence provided by the requesting state is sufficient to justify extradition.

In response to (b), lawyers who work for the International Assistance Group in Canada and the Office of International Affairs in Washington D.C. participated in the discussions.

In response to (c), the extradition process does not involve negotiations. A request for extradition is made pursuant to an extradition treaty. Any discussion regarding plea negotiations that would have taken place in this matter were between the prosecutor in the United States of America and Mr. Emery’s defence counsel. Because extradition is a separate and distinct process from the prosecution, the International Assistance Group and the Office of International Affairs do not take a position or participate in discussions relating to plea negotiations. In short, no officials from the Department of Justice have been involved in the plea negotiations on this case.

With respect to discussions in relation to the extradition request, the United States has maintained its interest in having Mr. Emery prosecuted in the United States either through his extradition or as a result of his voluntary surrender to the United States. Canadian officials have been pursuing his extradition in accordance with our treaty obligations.

Question No. 428Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

With respect to Employment Insurance applications since January 2009 in Canada and in the federal riding of Vancouver East: (a) what is the increase in initial and renewed applications; (b) what is the average waiting time to have these applications processed; (c) have new staff been hired to deal with the increase in applications; (d) if so, how many people were hired and (i) what is the cost of this hiring; and (e) if not, how is the increase being dealt with and (i) what are the costs of processing the increase volume of applications beyond hiring new employees?

Question No. 428Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), current year claims intake data is not tracked according to federal ridings. For the 2009 calendar year to August 31, 2009, nationally, Service Canada received a total of 2.25 million initial and renewal claims. This is a year-over-year increase of 34.6%, or 579,328 more claims than during the same period in 2008.

In response to (b), the average time from date of application for benefits to the first payment was 23 days for the period of January 2009 to September 2009.

In response to (c), yes.

In response to (d), a total of 1,619 people were brought on strength to assist with EI claims processing nationally between January and August 2009.

In response to (i), the cost of hiring new employees for processing between April 1 and August 31, 2009, was $33,233,000.

In response to (e), not applicable.

In response to (i), between April and August 2009, additional costs of processing the increased volume of applications above the hiring of new employees was $9,673,000, including costs for postage, electronic post mark, IT infrastructure, and accommodation.

Question No. 433Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

With regard to the government's handling of the Omar Khadr and Abousfian Abdelrazik cases, for each case: (a) what is the total cost of all legal fees to date; and (b) what is the breakdown of all outside consultants hired for any purpose, including public relations, and the value of the associated contracts?

Question No. 433Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, to the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown asserts that privilege and, considering the circumstances and context of the request, is prepared to waive that privilege only to the extent of revealing the total costs of the legal case on the part of the government. The total costs of the Omar Khadr legal cases on the part of the government are approximately $1,747,279.64. The total costs of the Abousfian Abdelrazik legal cases on the part of the government are approximately $880,089.58.

The government is not aware of any outside consultants hired for any purpose of either the Omar Khadr files or the Abousfian Abdelrazik files.

Question No. 437Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

With regard to Mirabel International Airport: (a) what studies have been conducted since 1997 regarding reopening the airport to regular commercial passenger flights; and (b) based on these studies, what are the detailed estimated costs for reopening the airport to regular commercial passenger flights?

Question No. 437Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Transport Canada did not commission any study regarding the reopening of the Mirabel International Airport.

In response to (b), not applicable.

Question No. 445Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

With respect to the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, what contingency measures are in place to run the NRU reactor past the license expirations in 2011 and 2016?