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House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

National Battlefields CommissionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I just want to remind the Bloc member that this is a historical event and not a political activity. The president of the National Battlefields Commission has provided assurances that this historical commemoration will be handled in a very respectful way. That being said, people who want to attend can and those who do not want to attend can stay home.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister does not believe in his own budget. In fact, in 1995 in the Calgary Herald, the Prime Minister said that infrastructure programs are a waste of time and a drain on long-term job creation.

The shared cost program leaves our mayors between a rock and a hard place. Either they raise property taxes, something they cannot do, or say goodbye to much needed infrastructure money. Why has the government set up an infrastructure program designed to fail our municipalities?

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to working with provinces, municipalities, community groups and others to make things happen on infrastructure spending.

If we do not have the confidence of the member opposite, let me say that if he is concerned about municipalities being able to step up to the plate, he should just look at what one of our colleagues in the House of Commons said:

If presented with the opportunities, a municipal government will find the dollars to match federal and provincial contributions.

Who said that? The Liberal member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, following comprehensive consultations, our government has shown that we listen to Canadians and respond in a proactive manner.

Last Tuesday, we revealed an economic action plan that effectively stimulates the economy, protects Canadians and ensures we enjoy long term prosperity even during this world financial crisis.

Can the Minister of National Revenue explain to the House the initiatives that the government has proposed to stimulate construction and encourage families to buy their first home?

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans for his good question and his interest in budget matters. We all know how important it is to stimulate the economy, and one of the ways of doing this is to help people who want to buy their first home. We are going to give them a $750 tax credit.

In addition, people can use up to $25,000 from their RRSPs to buy a home. It is interesting to note that by stimulating the economy we will be creating jobs and helping the forestry industry.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will bring to a conclusion our question period for today. I believe the hon. Minister of Finance has a notice.

Notice of MotionWays and MeansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1) I have the honour to table a notice of a ways and means motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009, and related fiscal measures.

I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics CommissionerRoutine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Pursuant to Section 15(3) of the Conflict of Interest Code for members of the House of Commons, it is my duty to lay upon the table the list of all sponsored travel by members for the year 2008 as provided by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights ActRoutine Proceedings

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

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.

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

National Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission ActRoutine Proceedings

February 2nd, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

, seconded by the member for Yorkton--Melville,

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-277, An Act to establish a National Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission and to re-establish the Survey on the Importance of Nature to Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, as co-chair of the outdoors caucus, I am very happy to introduce a bill to establish the national fish and wildlife heritage commission, and to re-establish the survey on the importance of nature to Canadians.

Millions of Canadians participate in hunting, fishing and outdoor activities. It is a huge component of our tourism industry and it is very important that we do a lot of conservancy to preserve these resources. It is also important to make sure that harmful species are not introduced to our lakes and streams, and to make sure that there is greater youth involvement and awareness of these activities.

It is important to make sure there is no derogation of aboriginal rights. This is a very exciting initiative and I look forward to the support of the entire House.

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

Access to Information ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-278, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act (response time).

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to introduce my private member's bill that calls for greater transparency from the government in the area of access to information. It will help improve the speed of answers to access to information requests.

Many members know, from reading news reports of the annual report of the Information Commissioner of Canada, that there is a need for amendments to the Access to Information Act. My bill would have the government explain why an access to information request was not completed within 100 days, and set a projected completion date for the information to be released. This bill will bring greater transparency and clarity to access to information.

If it takes over 100 days to reply, it really makes a joke of the system. If a request is not completed within 100 days, the government will have to report to the person on the reasons why. It will also have to report to the Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioner's annual report will show which agencies have these outstanding reports.

Hopefully, this will make the system more effective and I hope all parliamentarians will support such an improvement.

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

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (amounts not included in earnings).

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Acadie--Bathurst for seconding this bill.

The purpose of this bill is to ensure that those hard-working Canadians who have been working all the time and are indeed entitled to severance pay, keep that severance pay. At a moment in time when every penny counts for hard-working Canadian families when they are laid off, it needs to continue to be in their hands. To take that money away from them before they are eligible to collect employment insurance is a travesty.

It is an insurance plan that workers and their employers have paid into. It is not the benevolence of government that gives them money. It is their money that they are actually repatriating to themselves.

The workers in my constituency of Welland are extremely hard hit by this economic downturn. In fact, this very day, Lakeside Steel has laid off 84 more workers and is closed for the entire week. Before all of their savings are gone, workers ought to be entitled to employment insurance, and their severance packages and their pensions ought to be secure.

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

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-280, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (qualification for and entitlement to benefits).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Acadie—Bathurst for seconding the bills I am tabling today.

My first bill that I would like to introduce would be to lower the threshold for becoming a major attachment claimant to 360 hours, make special benefits available to those with that level of insurable employment, set the weekly benefit payable to 55% of the average weekly insurable earnings during the highest paid 12 weeks in the 12 month period preceding the interruption of earnings, reduce the qualifying period before receiving benefits, and remove the distinction made in the qualifying period on the basis of the regional unemployment rate.

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

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-281, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (benefit period increase).

Mr. Speaker, again, I thank my hon. colleague from Acadie—Bathurst for seconding this bill, which amends the Employment Insurance Act to increase the benefit period for claimants 45 years of age or over who are laid off permanently after 10 years or more in the labour force.

This would help my constituents greatly. I hope that we will move forward with this bill.

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

Interprovincial BridgePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition on behalf of fellow citizens from the national capital region. It deals with the issue of heavy-truck traffic in the downtown core of the nation's capital.

For a number of reasons, these petitioners call upon the government to instruct the National Capital Commission to proceed with a detailed assessment of option 7, that is, an interprovincial bridge linking the Canoteck industrial park to the Gatineau airport, as part of the second phase of an assessment regarding an interprovincial crossing in the national capital region.

I have the honour of tabling this petition asking that the government take appropriate action.

Opposition CoalitionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition on behalf of constituents wherein they note that during the October election Canadians gave the Conservative Party a clear and strengthened mandate to lead Canada through the global economic crisis. They note that the opposition parties are looking to impose an unstable, unelected Liberal-NDP-separatist coalition that would destabilize our country. The petitioners further note that Canadians have a democratic right to choose who will govern them and not have a surprise prime minister chosen through an unseemly undemocratic backroom deal.

They call on Parliament to oppose any political arrangement that would replace a democratically elected government without first consulting Canadians through an election.

Age of ConsentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, a number of the constituents of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo are very concerned about the sexual exploitation of children. Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to raise the age of consent from 14 years to 18 years of age.

Natural Health ProductsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition signed by some of my constituents regarding what was Bill C-51, the natural health products bill. They express concern that if the bill goes ahead, 60% to 70% of natural health products may be taken from Canadian stores. They call on the government to stop the bill.

DarfurPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition drawing the attention of the House to the situation in Darfur.

The petitioners call on Parliament to pressure the Sudanese government to allow the full 26,000 UN peacekeeping force into the region; to pressure the Sudanese government to begin peace talks with the Janjaweed and various other liberation movements; to increase the land based humanitarian relief efforts; to pressure the U.S. and Canadian governments and other world leaders to increase land based humanitarian relief efforts; and to encourage surrounding governments to allow refugee sanctuaries.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition from my constituency of Langley. It says that there are a number of life threatening conditions which do not qualify for disability programs and that current medical employment insurance benefits of 15 weeks do not adequately address the problem.

The petitioners are asking that the House of Commons enact legislation to provide additional medical EI benefits to at least equal medical maternity EI benefits.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

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, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?