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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would just like to pass on to hon. members that we have completed question period in about 46 or 47 minutes and there were 39 questions and responses given. Last week I was in Edmonton and attended the Alberta legislature, and in 50 minutes there were 102 questions and responses, with the same time limits as here on questions. I thought hon. members might be interested in that.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica.

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 25 petitions.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of this House.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 10th report later this day.

Nowruz Day ActRoutine Proceedings

March 23rd, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-342, An Act respecting Nowruz Day.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this bill, an act to respect Nowruz Day.

This past weekend, many families in Canada and in many countries around the world celebrated Nowruz, which marks the astronomical beginning of the new year and represents the exact moment of the vernal equinox commencing the start of spring.

Yesterday I was given the honour to celebrate Nowruz with 300 of my constituents and the mayor of Richmond Hill for a Nowruz celebration dinner where we shared great food, music and dance performances.

Nowruz is a time of great joy and celebration. Its non-ethnic and non-religious characteristics have allowed Nowruz to remain a prominent day for many people in the Middle East, central Asian countries and in fact many countries around the world, including Canada.

I will be distributing copies of the bill to the House leaders later today and it is my hope that all parties will be united to expedite this bill to officially recognize this significant day for many Canadians.

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

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented in this House earlier this day, be concurred in.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Income TrustsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 and as certified by the clerk of petitions, I am pleased to present yet again another income trust broken promise petition sent to me from constituents of my riding of Mississauga South who remember the Prime Minister boasting about his apparent commitment to accountability when he said that the greatest fraud was a promise not kept.

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

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

JusticePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to present petitions that call for tougher penalties for sexual offenders.

Current penalties for sexual offenders do not reflect the severity of the crime and the subsequent life-altering consequences suffered by victims.

Therefore, sexual offenders must receive a minimum 10 years jail time with no parole. Sexual offenders must attend rehabilitation and the public needs to be notified upon release of a sexual offender.

Health of Animals ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition on behalf of a number of individuals calling upon the Government of Canada to amend the animal transport regulations under Canada's Health of Animals Act. Part of their demand is that the government reduce the amount of time that animals can be transported around.

By calling on the reduction of travel time, the petitioners feel that such changes would lower the chances of animals becoming injured or diseased during transport and would reduce the threat to the quality, health and safety of Canadian food products.

Omar KhadrPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have many petitions from law students across Canada who are very concerned about the ongoing breaches of Omar Khadr's rights as a human being and, in particular, as a minor at the time of his alleged offence.

As law students, they are deeply concerned that Canada seems to believe that the war on terror can be fought outside the law. As Canadians, they are concerned that our country's credibility as one committed to human rights and the rule of law has been severely undermined.

Therefore, the petitioners are asking Parliament to ensure respect for Omar Khadr's legal and human rights by intervening in his case and securing his immediate repatriation.

Citizenship and ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I am presenting a petition signed by over 800 disappointed constituents and counting who are disillusioned by the decision of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to deport Lioubomir and Olha Nalesnik.

Since fleeing Ukraine in 1994 for security reasons, Mr. and Mrs. Nalesnik have contributed positively to Canadian society by working continuously throughout this period, paying their taxes and volunteering in their local community. They are exactly the type of new Canadians our country needs. They have established roots, built new lives in Canada and made a positive contribution to society during the past 15 years.

Consequently, the petitioners urge the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to reverse this decision to deport Mr. and Mrs. Nalesnik.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade AgreementPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Canadians from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Lethbridge, Alberta; Wolfville, Nova Scotia; Stratford, Ontario; and Winnipeg, Manitoba, I am adding dozens of names to the thousands upon thousands of Canadians who have already written to the House asking the Canadian government to not push through with a Canada-Colombia trade agreement until such time as an independent and impartial human rights assessment is done as the first step before there is any further movement.

The thousands of Canadians who are writing to Parliament believe that their voices can be heard on the floor of Parliament, which is why the NDP is presenting these names from Canadians from coast to coast to coast who are saying no to Canada-Colombia.

Canada PostPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise again today to present another petition opposing the unfair decision of Canada Post to withhold pay from its workers.

Canada Post notified members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers that it will withhold two weeks pay as part of a change in the compensation system.

With the petitions I am presenting today alone, almost 900 people object to this action. They ask that Canada Post pay its employees all of their wages.

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

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 46 will be answered today.

Question No. 46Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

With respect to the case John Guenette and Joanna Gualtieri v. Attorney General of Canada, Frank Townson, et al. and also the case Joanna Gualitieri v. Attorney General of Canada, Frank Townson, et al: (a) what are the total expenditures of the government with regard to these cases including, but not limited to, all legal fees, monitoring the progress and impact on public opinion of the case, in preparing communications strategies, and in preparing briefing packages for officials and ministers, on an annual basis, broken down by expenditure item; and (b) with respect to the figures in (a), how much was spent annually, on a departmental or agency basis?

Question No. 46Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the case John Guenette and Joanna Gualtieri v. Attorney General of Canada, Frank Townson, et al. legal fees and disbursements have been charged to the client, Department of Foreign Affairs, for the period April 1, 1998, to June 15, 2004, in the approximate amount of $338,753.16.

With respect to the case of Joanna Gualtieri v. Attorney General of Canada, Frank Townson, et al. legal fees and disbursements have been charged to the client, Department of Foreign Affairs, for the period June 16, 2004, to January 31, 2009, in the approximate amount of $222,423.27.

No communications strategies related to the cases.

No research or public opinion research activities relating to the cases.

Further details as to the allocation of costs are precluded by solicitor-client privilege.

Starred QuestionsRoutine 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

Mr. Speaker, would you be so kind as to call Starred Question No. 43.

I ask that the question and answer to Question No. 43 be printed in Hansard as if read.

Starred QuestionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Starred QuestionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

*Question No. 43Starred QuestionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

With respect to the Toronto Port Authority, will the government order the release of the hospitality and travel expenses incurred in London last winter by its former CEO and, if so, what were those expenses?

*Question No. 43Starred QuestionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, a request was made to the Toronto Port Authority for the hospitality and travel expenses incurred by the former chief executive officer on a trip to London, England, from February 4 to 10, 2008.

The following information was provided by the Toronto Port Authority:

Airfare -- $428.00

Accommodations -- $2,385.72

Food & Beverage -- $791.64*

Transportation -- $151.50

Internet Access -- $30.20

Gifts for Brokers -- $108.00

Total -- $3,895.06

*No hospitality expenses were incurred.

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

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 39, 40, 41, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.