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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Information Commissioner

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour, pursuant to section 38 of the Access to Information Act, to lay upon the table the report of the Information Commissioner for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual reports on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act of the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner for the year 2008-09.

These documents are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 4th, 2009 / 10:05 a.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 six petitions.

Elimination of Racial and Religious Profiling ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-407, An Act to eliminate racial and religious profiling.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table again a private member's bill entitled, “An Act to eliminate racial and religious profiling”. This bill seeks to ban racial and religious profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and officials.

I and my NDP colleagues have been very moved and often angered by the experiences of racial and religious profiling shared with us by constituents and other Canadians. The impact of this practice has been very serious and costly to those who have been its victims and to our society. Such actions by law enforcement officers and agencies are based solely on false stereotypes. It is bad public policy and bad law enforcement practice, plain and simple.

This is an updated version of a bill introduced by the member for Vancouver East in the 38th Parliament. It defines racial and religious profiling as actions undertaken for reasons of safety, security, or public protection that rely on stereotypes about race, colour, ethnicity, ancestry, religion or place of origin rather than on reasonable suspicion to single out an individual for greater scrutiny or different treatment.

The bill would require the RCMP, customs, immigration, airport screening officers and CSIS agents to eliminate racial and religious profiling. Those agencies would report to Parliament on their progress. They would also be required to have a working analysis of how racism functions in their law enforcement context.

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

State Immunity ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-408, An Act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code (deterring terrorism by providing a civil right of action against perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill which is an act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code, co-sponsored by my hon. colleague from Toronto Centre.

Canadian law presently shields state sponsors of terrorism from justice for Canadian victims. Canadian law presently offers immunity to those countries that expressly seek to harm Canadians. Canadian law regrettably denies a remedy to victims of terror. This bill will right this injustice.

The bill provides justice to victims immediately. It comports with our obligations under international law to both prohibit and combat international terrorism and to provide such a remedy. It does not shield itself behind an escape clause that renders it completely ineffective until foreign states are named on a case-by-case basis. Such an approach politicizes justice.

As Victor Comras, formerly of the U.S. state department, testified here before a Senate committee, let us please learn from the American mistake.

We need to value Canadian rights over foreign state sponsors of terrorism, value action over acquiescence, and value justice over politics.

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

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House yesterday, be concurred in.

The report concerns gifts under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House give its consent, I move that the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House on May 15, be concurred in.

The report concerns changes to the Standing Orders.

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House Affairs.Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Library MaterialsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present three petitions from people in Ontario and Alberta. These petitions add to the many petitions that I have presented before in support of Bill C-322, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (library materials) that would protect and support the library book rate and extend it to include audiovisual materials.

Falun Gong PractitionersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition signed by over 80 people from greater Vancouver, including some from my riding of Burnaby—Douglas, who are very concerned about the arrest of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners by security agencies of the People's Republic of China.

They are particularly concerned about the detention of Shuming Gao and Qinming Gao, whose sister, Xiaoming Gao, lives in Vancouver.

The petitioners call on the Canadian government to make a clear statement on the human rights violations and persecution perpetrated against Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Public Safety Officers Compensation FundPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, each year firefighters from across Canada come to Parliament Hill to advise us on some of their priorities. The first priority for the last number of years has been the issue of compensation for families where one firefighter or other public safety officer has lost his or her life in the line of duty.

This petition has been forwarded to me by Captain Mark Train from the Mississauga fire services. He and the petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that police officers and firefighters are required to place their lives at risk in the execution of their duties on a daily basis and that the employment benefits of public safety officers often provide insufficient compensation to the families of those who are killed on duty.

The petitioners point out that the public also mourns the loss of a police officers, firefighters or other public safety officers killed in the line of duty and wish to support in a tangible way their surviving families in 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 public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.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. 121, 134 and 140.

Question No. 121Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

With regard to projects funded in whole or in part by Treasury Board Vote 35 in the Main Estimates 2009-2010: (a) what appropriations have been created or supplemented with funds from Vote 35; (b) what is the name of each project which has received funding from Vote 35; (c) what is the amount of total federal funding, including funds other than money from Vote 35, for each project; (d) how much of the federal funding was provided directly by Vote 35 for each project; (e) which federal department and program is the funding being provided to; and (f) what was the rationale for using Vote 35 to fund this project as opposed to other funds available to the government under other authorities?

Question No. 121Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, with respect to funding provided from Treasury Board vote 35:

In regard to a) and e) A list of departments, the appropriations supplemented, and the budget program that is being funded from vote 35 is provided in supplementary estimates A, pages 77-82.

In regard to b), c), and d) Allocations from vote 35 are allocated to departmental programs, not to specific projects. As such, information on specific projects is not available. Treasury Board approves departmental programs, and individual department or agency determines which projects to pursue. The administrative responsibility for the execution of spending on any particular projects falls under an individual department or agency.

In regard to f) The use of vote 35 supports timely implementation of budget 2009 initiatives by enabling Treasury Board ministers to allocate funds to departments for Budget commitments where there is a cash flow requirement before the next supply period.

The decision to report on the allocation of vote 35 funds in quarterly reports to Parliament on the economic action plan was presented in the House of Commons and formally passed by Parliament on February 2, 2009. As well, the government has committed to provide a summary of vote 35 allocations in supplementary estimates, the most recent of which were tabled in Parliament on May 14, 2009. An updated list of approved allocations from vote 35 to departments will be tabled in Parliament in the June quarterly budget report.

The economic action plan website, http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/eng/index.asp, provides information about specific initiatives and projects as they are announced.

Question No. 134Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

With respect to the Alaska-Yukon boundary dispute, since 2006: (a) what steps have been taken to resolve the Alaska-Yukon boundary dispute; (b) what discussions have been held involving the governments of Canada and the United States; (c) where were these discussions held; (d) who was involved in these discussions; (e) what departments or agencies from both governments were represented at these discussions; (f) what were the outcomes of the discussions; (g) who has been involved and who has been consulted in the efforts to develop Canada’s position in these negotiations; (h) what is Canada’s position; (i) when does the government anticipate a resolution in this dispute; and (j) has the government placed a high level of importance to this issue in its relations with the United States?

Question No. 134Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is no existing Alaska-Yukon boundary dispute. However, a very well managed disagreement exists between the United States and Canada regarding the maritime delimitation of part of the Beaufort Sea.

In regard to a) Since 2006, no formal steps have been taken to resolve this issue as it is well managed and neither Canada nor the United States have found formal discussions to be warranted.

In regard to b) Since 2006, no formal discussions between the governments of the United States and Canada have been held regarding resolution of the Beaufort Sea maritime boundary, as neither Canada nor the US have found it warranted. As recently as May 23, 2009, at the Seward Conference in Alaska, the US Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries, who is also responsible for Arctic issues, described the situation in the Beaufort Sea as a well managed dispute. Canada is working cooperatively with the US in the Beaufort Sea.

In regard to c) – f) There have been no formal discussions as this issue is well managed and neither Canada nor the United States has found formal discussions to be warranted.

In regard to g) There have been no negotiations as this issue is well managed and neither Canada nor the United States has found formal discussions to be warranted.

In regard to h) Canada’s consistent and long-held position is that the 141st meridian is the proper boundary between Canada and the US in the Beaufort Sea, based on the 1825 Anglo-Russian Treaty of St. Petersburg.

In regard to i) This matter will be resolved when Canada and the United States deem it necessary to resolve it, as this matter is very well managed.

In regard to j) Canada continues to exercise its sovereignty in the Arctic. Canada and the United States consistently cooperate on Arctic issues, for example, Canada and the US are implementing an ecosystem based approach to oceans management in the Beaufort Sea and elsewhere. In addition, we are cooperating in the scientific work to delineate the extended continental shelf in the Beaufort Sea.