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House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Vale IncoOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have asked Vale Inco for answers and explanations on this. We will examine all possible options that come under our legislation.

However, the hon. member might want to check his facts. If he would, he would understand that any additional announcements made by that company are after the period of Investment Canada obligations.

Status of WomenOral Questions

May 14th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada released a shocking that showed 101,000 women and children fled into shelters last year.

The current economic crisis has caused a sharp increase in people seeking shelter. Last month alone, women's shelters in London, Ontario had a 79% increase in calls over the last year. In Calgary a women's emergency shelter help line had a 300% increase in calls.

Will the government help these overburdened shelters and commit to long-term funding to ensure women never have to choose between abuse and a place to live?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeMinister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the member is aware that I am in the process of developing an action plan for women and one of the pillars is in fact focused on ending violence against women.

I look forward to continuing to receive her valuable information and input in this. This is an issue that is extremely important to our government. We understand that when all of us experience violence, it is a very difficult situation and one that we must address collectively.

I am confident in saying that I do not believe there is one member in the House who would not want to see an end to the violence.

International AidOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Pakistan has worsened. According to reports, up to 360,000 people have fled the fighting, with more expected in the coming weeks. This adds up to an estimated 550,000 people who have already been internally displaced since August of 2008.

Canadians are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of those internally displaced persons. Could the Minister of International Cooperation let the House know if the Canadian government will be providing any support for these victims?

International AidOral Questions

3 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this government shares the concerns of Canadians with the plight of those forced to leave their homes in the Swat region of Pakistan, and the government is acting. I am announcing $5 million to provide food, proper health care and temporary shelters. The Red Cross and the World Food Programme are on the ground, working with those in need.

The men and women, children and seniors who need our help will be supported by Canada.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to hemorrhage forestry jobs. Now black liquor tax credits in the United States will subsidize American mills to the tune of $6 billion, threatening to wipe out the few pulp mills that we have left in Canada, further adding to the Conservative recession. The government keeps telling us that it is standing up to the U.S., and yet its efforts have been futile.

When can Canadians expect the Prime Minister to finally do the right thing and demand that the U.S. cancel these harmful tax credits? We need actions.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member opposite that we are determined to minimize the adverse impact of this measure on our domestic forest sector. To do that, the minister has been in contact with the forestry industry. We are considering all options. Utilizing this green tax credit to subsidize U.S. pulp mills is clearly unacceptable, and she has been in contact with the Obama administration to correct this issue.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, first it was the Mont-Mégantic observatory, and now it is the University of Sherbrooke nanotechnology laboratory that has to settle for a paltry $30,000 for one year, having been refused funding of $500,000 over five years.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada justifies these cuts with the argument that they are changing their focus from regional to international. Yet the Sherbrooke laboratory is the top Franco-Quebec international laboratory in the field of nanotechnology.

How can the Minister of State (Science and Technology) justify such a reduction?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, the nanotechnology lab did in fact apply for new funding and was awarded $88,700. I want to also mention, though, with respect to the University of Sherbrooke, this Conservative government put forward $33 million for research at the university.

What is very disappointing and, frankly, dishonest is when the Bloc stands in the House and makes these accusations, yet it voted against any funding for research at the University of Sherbrooke. Bloc members vote against nanotechnology funding. They vote against the people in Quebec.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

A few points of order have been raised, but before we proceed, seeing as it is Thursday, the hon. member for Wascana would like to ask another question.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the business of the House, next week members will be in their constituencies. I wonder if the government House leader could indicate what he intends to call to finish the business this week before we adjourn on Friday, and then his business plan for at least the first week we come back, which would be the last week of May.

I would point out that there remains one day to be designated as an occasion when committee of the whole will consider the estimates of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. I wonder if the minister is in a position now to designate which of the remaining days of May will be the day we consider the estimates in committee of the whole.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, one thing that will not be on the agenda is what the Liberal leader is always asking for and that is tax increases. That certainly will not be on the government's agenda.

Today we are going to continue debate on Bill C-8, the matrimonial real property legislation. Earlier today the Liberal Party moved a six months hoist motion with respect to Bill C-8. The term “six months hoist” is a bit of a misnomer. In modern terms, the adoption of a six months hoist motion would essentially kill the bill. I am surprised at the Liberal Party. The Liberals are always saying they advocate for women's rights. This legislation is about aboriginal women's and children's rights on reserve, and yet they are trying to kill the bill.

Following Bill C-8, we will call Bill C-20, the nuclear liability legislation, and Bill C-30, the Senate ethics legislation. All of these bills are at second reading.

Tonight, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), the main estimates for the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food will be considered in committee of the whole.

As was noted, next week is a constituency work week for members of Parliament when they will be returning to their constituencies to work hard.

When the House returns on May 25, we will continue with business from this week, with the addition of any bills that are reported back from the standing committees.

Added to the list of business is Bill C-23, the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement, and Bill C-19, the investigative hearings and recognizance with conditions legislation.

Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4) I would like to designate May 28, 2009 as the date for consideration in committee of the whole of the main estimates for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, with respect to May 28 for the meeting in committee of the whole to consider the estimates of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, I presume the government House leader, before that date, will be proposing the same procedural motion governing the rules that would apply during the course of that debate. I see he is nodding his head and I welcome that information.

My final point is simply to provide a bit of information that the government House leader may not have in respect of the hoist motion that was moved earlier today having to do with Bill C-8. He may be comforted to know that every major aboriginal organization in the country supports the hoist motion.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of question period.

I have had the good fortune and the privilege to be in this House of Commons, in this august chamber, for nearly 16 years. I have never seen in that time a display like what was put on during question period by the leader of the Bloc Québécois.

It is absolutely shameful that he would stand in his place, use derogatory and unparliamentary language, and accuse ministers of the Crown of lying. He knows that is unparliamentary language. Mr. Speaker, you indicated that you did not hear the word. It was clearly heard here. Then the member left the chamber before question period concluded and before you could make a ruling.

It is absolutely shameful. I have never seen anything like that. That particular member has been a member of Parliament for longer than I have. He knows better.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to review what transpired during question period, specifically the initial question as posed by the leader of the Bloc Québécois, and perhaps you may want to take disciplinary action.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, he is not allowed to mention my absence. He should be familiar with the Standing Orders.

I also want to point out that I was just echoing what the Minister of Public Works and Government Services said yesterday. In response to a Bloc statement, he said, rather directly, “To say that we are hindering Quebec is an untruth”. If he can say that, then I can say that the government tells untruths too. It is the same thing. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

As I said during question period, I did not hear the hon. member's words. Now he has just repeated them.

I will review the transcript to which he has referred and the transcript of today's question period. I will look at the remarks of the hon. government House leader and the remarks of the hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

I will get back to the House on this issue. In my opinion, such language is unacceptable. Now we have to find out what was said today and yesterday. I did not hear the words during question period because of all of the noise in the House.

Is the hon. member for Joliette raising a point of order?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I simply want some reassurance of fair treatment. Will you look at the transcript of yesterday's question period, particularly statements made by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I will review it.

Does the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister wish to discuss the same issue?

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to point out that the hon. members of the Bloc did not say to whom this accusation was addressed. We did not accuse any member of this House of lying, on the contrary. Yet that is exactly what the leader of the Bloc has done today.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

As I just said, I will look into what was said yesterday.

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when I say that the government is telling lies, I am not addressing a specific individual, but an institution.

When, in response to a question from an hon. member, someone says that member has just told a lie, that is specific to an individual.

I would submit that you ought to be reprimanding the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and not myself. I was referring to an institution, and he to a very specific individual.

I think that the point the parliamentary secretary has just raised is totally in my favour, and I thank him for it.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I will look at all the documents to which the hon. members have referred, and will get back to the House when I have reached a decision.

Another point of order.

Private Member's Bill C-309Points of OrderOral Questions

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, on February 25, 2009, you made a statement with respect to the management of private members' business. In particular, you raised concerns about five bills which, in your view, “appear to impinge on the financial prerogative of the Crown”.

One of the bills you mentioned was Bill C-309, An Act establishing the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Northern Ontario. I would note that in the last Parliament, the member for Nipissing—Timiskaming brought forward the same bill as Bill C-499, which the Speaker on June 10, 2008, noted appeared “to impinge on the financial prerogative of the Crown”.

Without commenting on the merits of the bill, I submit that the bill must be accompanied by a royal recommendation because it would require new spending. Bill C-309 would create a new agency of government and provide for the appointment of personnel. Clause 8 of Bill C-309 establishes the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Northern Ontario as a separate and distinct agency of the Government of Canada.

The requirement of a royal recommendation for organizational changes such as establishing a new agency is referred to in the Speaker's ruling of July 11, 1988, on two motions to amend Bill C-93, An Act for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in Canada. The Speaker said that to establish a separate department of government “undoubtedly would cause a significant charge upon the federal treasury in order for the new department to function on a daily basis”.

When an almost identical bill was introduced in the first session of the 38th Parliament as Bill C-9, An Act to establish the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, it was accompanied by a royal recommendation.

The second reason Bill C-309 would require a royal recommendation is that it provides for the appointment of personnel. There are numerous precedents indicating that appointments must be accompanied by a royal recommendation. For example, on February 25, 2005, the Acting Speaker ruled that Bill C-280, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (Employment Insurance Account and premium rate setting) and another Act in consequence required a royal recommendation because it provided for the appointment of 13 new commissioners to the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. The parent act specified that all commissioners were to receive remuneration.

Clauses 4 and 9 of Bill C-309 provide for the establishment of advisory committees in the appointment of a president of the agency, positions that do not currently exist. Furthermore, the clauses explicitly state that the remuneration of the appointees shall be fixed by the Governor in Council. Provisions for salaries to be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund clearly impose a charge on the public treasury. I submit that clauses 4 and 9 would therefore require a royal recommendation.

Clause 13 of Bill C-309 would also require the appointment of personnel, in this case, the officers and employees necessary for the proper conduct of the new agency. Although clause 13 does not specifically provide for the remuneration of these employees, the Speaker ruled on February 11, 2008 with respect to Bill C-474, the Federal Sustainable Development Act:

Section 23 of the Interpretation Act makes it clear that the power to appoint includes the power to pay. As the provision in Bill C-474 is such that the governor in council could choose to pay a salary to these representatives, this involves an appropriation of a part of the public revenue and should be accompanied by a royal recommendation.

These precedents apply to Bill C-309. The bill would create new spending and therefore requires a royal recommendation.

Private Member's Bill C-309Points of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for his submissions on this matter. I will take it under advisement. I strongly suspect there might be other submissions from another hon. member shortly on this matter.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence is also rising on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order out of question period. I want to make it crystal clear to my friend for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord that there are no plans to shut down 439th squadron in Bagotville.