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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

(The House divided on the motion which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #47

Climate Change Accountability ActPrivate Members' Business

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

3:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to ensure there is no confusion on a question in question period. I want to clearly state for the record that the word is “condemn” and not “condone”.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the Minister of Immigration was asked a question by the official opposition critic about the backlog at the Immigration Refugee Board hearings. You will recall the question.

In his answer, the minister suggested that it was the government that amended the IRB appointments process. I want to correct the record. In fact, it was the former prime minister, Paul Martin, who insisted that the IRB be restructured. along with a series of other boards, agencies, commissions and crown corporations to drive up transparency and to ensure there was a distance between the chairmanship and the CEO functions. We thank Paul Martin.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am not sure that the hon. member for Ottawa South has raised a point of order. It sounded more like a matter of debate to me.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, this intervention was a matter of debate. In fact, it was this government, pursuant to recommendations from the public appointments commission, that adopted a new process with the IRB, not the former government.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

What I would suggest to the two hon. members is that they put their question down for one of those late shows and have some fun debating it at another time rather than on points of order after question period because it does not sound like a point of order to me.

Canadian Human Rights TribunalPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2008 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal annual report.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, regarding the election observation mission of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Georgia, January 1 to 7, 2008.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two reports to table today.

Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian-NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the June session 2008, held in Berlin, Germany from May 23 to May 27.

Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I also have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian-NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation to the visit of the science and technology committee held in Ottawa and Montreal July 7 to 10, 2008.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three more reports to present.

Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, to the bureau meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 14, 2008.

Also pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, regarding the election observation mission of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Georgia, May 17 to 22, 2008.

Finally, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, to the seventh winter meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held in Vienna, Austria, February 21 and 22, 2008.

International TradeCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on International Trade which recommends that the government vigorously defend Quebec's pesticide management code.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's budget for 2009-10.

Federal Courts ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-354, An Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights).

Mr. Speaker, I should note at the outset that this very innovative bill was developed in close cooperation with Nick Milanovic, a research professor with the Department of Law at Carleton University, and Mark Rowlinson, the counsel for the United Steelworkers. Mr. Milanovic's daughter and mother are in the galleries today.

The bill would ensure corporate accountability for Canadian firms operating abroad. It would broaden the mandate of the Federal Court so that it protects foreign citizens against rights violations committed by corporations operating outside of Canada. This bill would hold violators accountable for gross human rights abuses, regardless of where they take place, and it would allow lawsuits in Canada for a host of universal human rights violations.

Essentially, this bill would provide legal protection for those in other countries who are the victims of gross human rights violations. It is supported by the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers.

I hope this innovative bill, which replicates what happens in the United States under the alien tort claims act, will be receiving the support of Parliament.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-355, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cyberbullying).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce this private member's bill, seconded by the member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe. The bill was developed with the aid of the Canadian Teachers' Federation. It would amend the Criminal Code to clarify that cyberbullying is an offence.

Cyberbullying is the use of electronic devices to harass, libel and send false messages, and is a major problem in Canadian schools. In a recent University of Toronto survey of high school students in the greater Toronto area, 50% of students reported that they had been bullied online in the last three months. Cyberbullying results in physical and psychological harm and, in some cases, even suicide.

My bill would provide a clarification of the application of existing criminal law to cyberbullying. It would amend three sections: section 264, dealing with criminal harassment; section 298, dealing with inflammatory libel; and section 372, subsections 1 to 3, dealing with false messages.

This clarification of cyberbullying as an offence, in conjunction with a campaign of public awareness that focuses on appropriate use of computers and prevention of cyberbullying, could do a great deal to minimize the harm to many young people today.

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

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

asked for leave to introduce Bill C-356, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (volunteers).

He said: Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague, the hon. member for Willowdale, for supporting my bill. This bill deals with a proposed $500 tax credit for volunteers, to recognize the time they donate in their communities. We know that many people in our communities donate their time to charities, festivals and various groups such as golden age clubs. There comes a time when the work done by these individuals in our communities has to be recognized. Very often, they take on tasks others cannot tackle and they help those most in need in our communities.

A tax credit could be an incentive for them and a way for the Government of Canada to let them know how much it appreciates what they do for all their fellow citizens. This would surely encourage more people to get involved in volunteer work to advance the important causes dear to the hearts of the various populations we represent in this great country of ours.

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

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 1st, 2009 / 3:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition today, signed at a Hamilton forum on job losses, co-chaired by our federal leader, the member for Toronto—Danforth, and Andrea Horvath, the newly elected NDP leader in Ontario.

The workers signed the petition almost to a person, especially after listening to Shannon Horner-Shepherd's heartbreaking story about her struggle to support her disabled daughter, Gabby, and her other three children after losing her well-paying job at U.S. Steel.

The petitioners point out that they have paid into EI all of their working lives, but now that they need the safety net they themselves built, it is no longer there for them.

The petitioners are therefore calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the employment insurance system. Specifically the petitioners are calling for a standardized 360 hours to qualify, an increased benefit period of at least 50 weeks, the elimination of the two week waiting period, benefits at 60% of normal earnings based on the best 12 weeks and a bigger investment in training and retraining.

To that end, they call upon the government to respect the will of Parliament and act immediately on the comprehensive NDP motion, which was passed in the House of Commons, to restore the integrity of the employment insurance system.

These petitioners are keenly aware that successive Liberal and Conservative governments diverted $54 billion of worker and employer contributions to EI and used that money to pay down the debt and deficit, instead of using it to provide help for the involuntarily unemployed during economic downturns. That misappropriation only heightens the moral obligation for the government to restore the integrity of the EI system.

While I know it is against the rules of this chamber for members of Parliament to endorse a petition, I very much welcome the opportunity to present this petition on behalf of the over 300,000 newly unemployed Canadians since the last election.

First NationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present a petition. We have with us today in the House several members of the first nations.

I am tabling a petition signed by 22,731 members of the first nations who absolutely want post-secondary education to be a government priority. These petitioners call on the government to address this critical issue and to honour its responsibility to provide adequate funding with respect to the right of first nations to post-secondary education, by taking immediate steps to follow up on the recommendations contained in the report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development published in February 2007.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition on EI reforms.

The petitioners call upon the government to amend the Employment Insurance Act to qualify for EI benefits at 360 hours, increase benefit duration to 50 weeks, provide additional benefits if unemployment exceeds 6.5%, eliminate the two-week waiting period, provide benefits at 60% of normal earnings and more innovative use of EI such as work-sharing.

DarfurPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to table a petition on behalf of my constituents of Kelowna--Lake Country, calling for immediate action to bring peace to Darfur.

The petitioners state that they know the shocking and unbearable situation in Darfur runs counter to Canada's commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights as well as Canada's principled position on freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

They ask that we take a bold and urgent stance to use all diplomatic channels and appeal to the international community, especially China and Saudi Arabia, to pressure the Sudanese government to end the destruction in Darfur.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition on behalf of a significant number of Quebec residents, including those of my own riding of Mount Royal.

The petition expresses its alarm at the escalating state-backed anti-Semitism in Venezuela, including attacks on Jewish persons, property and religious institutions, such as the firebombing of a synagogue in Caracas. It also expresses its alarm that members of the Jewish community in Venezuela fear for their personal safety and their denial of religious freedom.

It acknowledges that the Canadian people, who have the strongest feelings of friendship with the people of Venezuela, regret these recent developments and hold the Venezuelan people in their highest esteem.

It calls upon the Government of Canada to express its outrage at government-sponsored anti-Semitic attacks directly to the government of Venezuela in international fora, to demand an independent investigation of such attacks and to act upon the recent London declaration of the interparliamentary coalition to combat anti-Semitism.

It also calls upon governments to condemn such state-backed anti-Semitism, to work with our international partners to ensure the protection of the Venezuelan Jewish community and to safeguard against further human rights violations, in particular, those that may be authorized by state officials and state actors.

Criminal CodePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I have three petitions from constituents from all across Canada. There are hundreds of names on them.

The petitioners are in support of my Bill C-268, mandatory minimums for people who traffic children under the age of 18 years.

They call upon all members to support that bill.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade AgreementPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have pages of additional names of Canadians living in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to not push any further with the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement until a full and independent human rights impact assessment is done.

Colombia has the highest rate of assassination of human rights defenders and union leaders in the entire world. The petitioners believe this is not the appropriate use of our trade negotiations, to push ahead with an agreement with a country that has such widespread human rights violations.

These pages of petitioners add to the thousands upon thousands of Canadians who have already signed petitions to the government and to Parliament, asking that there be no further push ahead with the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement.

Rights of the UnbornPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition to protect unborn victims of crime.

The petitioners note that in current federal criminal law, an unborn child is not recognized as a victim with respect to violent crimes. They note that the vast majority of the public supports laws that would protect unborn children from acts of violence against their mothers, which would also injure or kill the child in her womb. They believe that forcing upon a pregnant woman the death or injury of her unborn child is a violation of a woman's right to give life to her child and protect her child.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to enact legislation that would recognize unborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers, allowing two charges to be laid in a case like that, instead of one.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also rise, like my colleague from Mount Royal, to present this petition, which deals with escalating attacks on Jewish communal institutions in Venezuela.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to redouble its efforts to ensure the protection of human rights in Venezuela in general and, in particular, to express its outrage at government-sponsored anti-Semitic attacks directly to the government Venezuela and in international fora, to demand an independent investigation of the attacks on the Jewish community and to act upon the London declaration of the interparliamentary coalition to combat anti-Semitism.

They call for government response to violations, such as those that have occurred under the leadership of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. They also call upon the government to work with our international partners to ensure the protection of the Venezuela Jewish community and to safeguard against further human rights violations, in particular, those authorized by the state or state actors.