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House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labour.

Topics

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It does not sound like a point of order to me. It sounds more like a matter of debate. Members make statements that other members disagree with from time to time in the House and the Chair does not get involved in that kind of argument.

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 14 petitions.

Made in Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-392, An Act respecting the use of government procurements and transfers to promote economic development.

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Windsor West for his support.

My made in Canada bill would require the government to purchase products or acquire services from Canadian companies or individuals. The workers I know at Ford Talbotville would love to build cars for the government fleet.

I am very proud to introduce this bill. It would create new markets for Canadian suppliers, strengthen sustainability and help us meet our environmental commitments and encourage Canadian entrepreneurship.

Daily announcements of closures and layoffs from across the country have played havoc with workers, families and communities. The Canadian government needs to take action to protect Canadian jobs.

New Democrats believe that Canadian communities should benefit from federal procurement. The current piecemeal approach should be replaced by a clear, transparent buy Canadian policy. Conservatives have been unwilling to defend Canadian workers and industry and this legislation would help to reverse that.

I am calling on my colleagues in the House of Commons to support this bill and give the Canadian economy and Canadian families the boost that they need.

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

Patent ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-393, An Act to amend the Patent Act (drugs for international humanitarian purposes) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to introduce this bill in the House today. It would amend the Patent Act as a remedy to the serious flaws within Canada's access to medicines regime that was passed in this place unanimously in May 2004.

That initiative was intended to be a meaningful humanitarian tool to flow lifesaving medicines to the world's poorest nations at affordable below patent prices. The built-in problems have resulted not in a flow but a trickle and there has been only one successful application. Meanwhile, many people, thousands of men, women and children, suffer needlessly without getting access to the treatments that are available.

This bill is here with the help of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and with the support of Canadian Grandmothers for Africa, Grands 'n' More Winnipeg, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Results Canada, and many other organizations.

I recommend this bill because it offers members amendments to the act that would streamline the process and get urgently needed drugs to HIV and AIDS patients as soon as possible.

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

Public Safety Officers' Compensation FundPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I want to present a new petition that came about from a visit to Parliament Hill by firefighters from across the country.

The petitioners state that police officers and firefighters are required to place their lives at risk in the execution of their duties on a daily basis. They also state that the employment benefits of police officers and firefighters often do not provide sufficient compensation for the families of those who are killed in the line of duty. They also state that the public mourns when a public safety officer loses his or her life in the line of duty and that the public wishes to support in a tangible way the surviving families at their time of need.

The petitioners therefore call upon Parliament to establish a fund known as the public safety officers' compensation fund for the benefit of families of police officers, firefighters and other public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

Library MaterialsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 25th, 2009 / 3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions from British Columbia and Alberta. Many petitions are coming in from all across Canada supporting Bill C-322, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (library materials), which would protect and support the library book rate and extend it to include audio-visual materials.

Sri LankaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present on behalf of the Tamil Canadian community in my riding. The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to pressure the government of Sri Lanka not to deny the Tamil population food, shelter, medicine and other fundamental necessities, to allow the UN and other international relief agencies access to the areas affected by the conflict, to stop shelling and bombing civilian habitats, hospitals, schools and places of worship, to take active and concrete measures by providing leadership to convince the international community and agencies to allow an international UN observer panel to monitor human rights violations and bring the perpetrators to justice, as recommended by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Governor General of Canada.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade AgreementPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present pages and pages of petitions that Canadians have signed from across the country, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. All of the petitioners add their names to the tens of thousands of Canadians who have written to Parliament to say no to the Canada-Colombia free trade deal.

The petitioners say that the Government of Canada should halt the process until there is an independent and impartial human rights assessment done. As we well know, there are serious concerns around the ties of the Uribe regime with murderous paramilitary thugs and drug lords.

For all those reasons, many Canadians are adding their voices to others to say no to the Canada-Colombia free trade deal.

DarfurPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise under Standing Order 36 to present a petition signed by many people in my riding and the surrounding area. The petitioners are calling for a commitment from the Canadian government and the international community to do whatever may be necessary to put an end to the atrocities that are still going on in Darfur.

Unsolicited Ad Mail and FlyersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by many residents in my riding of Winnipeg Centre. They call upon the House to recognize that each year Canadian households receive 1,300 pieces of unsolicited mail. These signators comment that it is not only using up far too many trees but much of that paper is not recycled. We could switch to hemp as a source that is far less environmentally damaging.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to request the Minister of the Environment to consider bringing forward legislation requiring all unsolicited ad mail and flyers to be produced using easily recyclable paper, to phase in by year 2012 the use of hemp paper to be used in the production of flyers, and that all distributors of flyers obey all no flyer signs in Canada.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present pursuant to Standing Order 36. One of them is from Canadians concerned about the regulations around the transport of animals.

The petitioners are calling for the Canadian Health of Animals Act to be brought up to date and revised to reflect international findings that call for a reduction in transport time and adequate enforcement regulations in the interests of animal welfare and the health and safety of Canadian food products.

Canadians recognize that there is a responsibility not only to treat our animals humanely but also to understand that there is a direct link to the security of our own food supply when we concern ourselves with animal welfare.

Sri LankaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I present a petition from a number of constituents from my riding and across the country who are very much concerned about the humanitarian crisis and loss of countless lives in Sri Lanka. The petitioners call on the government to urge the Sri Lankan government in any way possible to allow for the free flow of food and medicine and the provision of shelter and other fundamentals to the citizens in need.

The world is watching as this crisis continues. Canadians want the violence to come to an end and the government to do its part to make sure that humanitarian assistance is provided to these people.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade AgreementPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have many petitions from people who want to draw the attention of the House of Commons to the violence against workers and members of civil society by paramilitaries in Colombia, who are closely associated with the current government in Colombia. The violence has been ongoing. More than 2,200 trade unionists have been murdered since 1991. As well, acts of violence have been committed against indigenous people, Afro Colombians, human rights activists, workers, farmers, labour leaders and journalists.

Under the NAFTA-style agreement, Canada's and Colombia's ability to adopt sustainable economic, social, cultural and environmental public policies such as health care and public education were diminished. The labour side agreements under NAFTA have not been effective in protecting and improving labour standards, as has been the case in Mexico. Over one million agricultural jobs have been lost in Mexico since NAFTA was signed.

These petitioners are calling on Parliament to reject the Canada-Colombia trade deal until an independent human rights impact assessment is carried out and that the agreement be renegotiated along the principles of fair trade, which would take the environmental and social impacts fully into account while genuinely respecting labour rights and the rights of all affected parties.

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, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 114 and 117.

Question No. 114Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

With respect to the money provided by the government in 2008 to the International Organization on Migration (IOM) for assistance to Darfur refugees in the Aweil State in Sudan: (a) did the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) or any other government department or agency contribute funds to help the Darfur refugees and, if so, what was the exact dollar amount contributed and on what date or dates, and to whom were these funds contributed; (b) was a budget proposed or requested by any government agency, department, non-governmental organization or international organization relating to these particular relief funds; (c) what information was provided to CIDA, and by whom, from which the government’s contribution amount was assessed for this particular crisis; (d) did the government provide any on-ground support or monitoring of relief work for this particular circumstance and, if so, in what capacity, and for how long; (e) have CIDA officials or any other government agency or department requested updates on the Darfur refugees and, if so, were any provided and by whom and what has been done with that information; and (f) what current measures is the government providing to ensure continued monitoring of mass migration and relief aid for refugees migrating into other ill-equipped areas of Southern Sudan?

Question No. 114Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, in regard to a) CIDA’s bilateral Sudan program signed a contribution arrangement with the International Organization on Migration, IOM, to support the following project: “Basic Infrastructure and Livelihood Support to Highly Impacted Communities of Return in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan.” The exact dollar amount contributed is $3 million. The contribution arrangement was signed on March 28, 2008 and will remain in effect for the period of 18 months. These funds were contributed to the IOM in Washington, D.C.

In regard to b) Yes. A detailed budget and proposal pertaining to the aforementioned project was forwarded to CIDA by IOM.

In regard to c) Following a fact-finding mission by CIDA in July 2007, which included a visit with IOM in South Sudan, a proposal was submitted by IOM to CIDA’s Sudan program pertaining to the aforementioned project, on August 20, 2007.

In regard to d) Yes. In June 2008, as a guest of IOM in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (Aweil County), a CIDA officer visited the site of the aforementioned project, during its inception phase, to assess the situation, determine the needs and see first-hand the types of interventions that CIDA would be supporting in the area. A follow-up visit was made to the same project in April 2009, to visibly assess the progress of the project. Each visit lasted approximately 3 days. In addition, also in April 2009, a CIDA official met with senior IOM staffers in both Khartoum and Juba.

In regard to e) As per the requirements of the contribution arrangement, IOM has provided progress and financial reports to CIDA with regard to the aforementioned project. This information is used by CIDA to follow the progress of the project against the initial plans and proposal. To date, the project has achieved promising results related to the following interventions: borehole rehabilitation and hand dug well construction; latrine construction; hygiene education; school construction; livelihood vocational training.

In regard to f) CIDA is continuously monitoring both the humanitarian and early recovery situation in Sudan via its Head of Aid in Khartoum, as well as through reports and regular communications with key stakeholders, including past and present recipients of CIDA funds. These field-based partners include, amongst others, various NGOs, UN agencies and other donors. In addition, CIDA HQ-based officers make regular field visits to Sudan to assess the situation, determine changing needs on the ground and to review progress against ongoing CIDA-funded projects.

Question No. 117Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

With respect to Measurement Canada, what changes have been or will be made to the agency from January 2006 to January 2010, including: (a) changes to services that the agency provides; (b) changes to who is accredited to test and inspect devices; and (c) who pays the salaries of those accredited to test and inspect devices?

Question No. 117Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in regard to a) Between January 2006 and January 2010, there have not been any changes to the services Measurement Canada provides and there are none planned. The agency will continue to administer the Weights and Measures Act and Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and deliver the services required by the statutes. These services include evaluating and approving prototype measuring devices, e.g., scales, gas pumps, electricity and natural gas meters, for use in Canada; testing and certifying the accuracy of measuring devices, investigating consumer and business complaints of alleged inaccurate measurement, granting private sector organizations the authority to test and certify measuring devices on the agency’s behalf and ongoing audit/oversight of these authorized service providers to ensure compliance with program criteria and retention of required competencies, and calibrating and certifying the accuracy of physical measurement standards, e.g., weights, volume standards, test consoles, used to determine the accuracy of measuring devices.

In regard to b) Measurement Canada has two voluntary programs for the purpose of authorizing private sector service providers to test and inspect devices, the accreditation program and the registration program. Neither of these two programs has undergone significant changes since 2006 and there are no planned changes to program requirements in 2009.

The availability of these two programs improves device-owner access to inspection services by giving authorized service providers the flexibility to adopt the business model that best suits their needs and client base. There are presently 58 organizations accredited to inspect scales, gas pumps and other mass and volume measuring devices and 60 organizations accredited to inspect electricity and natural gas meters.

The registration program is available in the retail gas, retail food, dairy, fishing, forestry, mining, downstream petroleum and grain and field crop sectors. There are presently 44 organizations registered to inspect scales, gas pumps and other mass and volume devices.

Over the past year, Measurement Canada has performed in-depth stakeholder consultations in the chemical products, food and beverage manufacturing, fruits and vegetables and livestock and poultry sectors. The scope of the registration program may be expanded to include these sectors in the next year depending on the stakeholder consensus-based recommendations resulting from consultations in these sectors. However, registration program requirements will not change.

Measurement Canada audits the competencies of accredited and registered organizations on a regular basis to ensure compliance with program criteria and retention of required competencies.

Further information concerning the accreditation program and the registration program may be found on Measurement Canada’s website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/h_lm00003.html

In regard to c) The salaries of accredited and registered organizations are paid by the companies, e.g., service station retailers, grocery store owners, who hire them to test and certify their devices. In the case of electricity and natural gas meters owned by accredited utilities, the salaries are paid by the utility.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 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 the answers to Questions Nos. 13, 109, 111 and 151 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 13Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

With respect to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), when will the government have the necessary administrative mechanisms in place so that Canadians can benefit from the RDSP program?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 109Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

With respect to performance pay for the Chief Executives of Crown corporations in 2008, for each individual, without identifying him or her by name: (a) what is his or her level in the salary scale; (b) what is his or her performance appraisal rating; (c) what is the maximum bonus, in percentage terms, which he or she could be entitled to receive; (d) what was the amount of the bonus paid, as a percentage of salary; and (e) what was the amount of the bonus paid, in dollars?

(Return tabled)