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House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was unemployed.

Topics

Members' RemarksPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I do not think the hon. member has raised a point of order. It is really a matter of debate. In that respect we will not treat it as a point of order.

I understand he is also requesting unanimous consent to table some documents. Does the hon. member have consent?

Members' RemarksPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Members' RemarksPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

For the last two days I have been targeted on three occasions during Members' Statements allotted time period and once today during Question Period based on a statement I made in committee. Either members across do not know how to read or they just have something to hide.

The quote is a partial quote that came from a serious discussion during our prebudget consultations at finance committee, and it was during a seven-minute question-and-answer period with the poverty group. It had nothing to do with child care. It had nothing to do with daycare. It had nothing to do with choice. It just had to do with poverty and how we could rectify the problem of children going to school with empty stomachs.

Those members are making a mockery of this. My point has been taken out of context. I feel that if we have to have a discussion on poverty the place to do it is in the House. To accuse me of being anti-family, anti-choice, anti-daycare, anti-child care is unparliamentary. I cannot accept this going on. I am asking you, Mr. Speaker, to take action.

The only people who have not taken action on child care are members across.

Members' RemarksPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I do not know what action the Speaker can take in the circumstances. As the hon. member knows, the Speaker does not get into debate on subjects of this kind and it appears there is a debate.

Allegations have been made, which happens from time to time on both sides of the House, in fact, with some frequency. It is difficult for the Chair to decide which statements are accurate in every case. I do have opinions sometimes, but of course I cannot express those.

In the circumstances, I suggest that perhaps the hon. member may want to sit down with some of his colleagues who are making these statements in a committee hearing and have a vigorous discussion. It could easily happen there, and it might be very rewarding for all concerned.

I will leave it at that for the moment. I do not think there is more I can do to provide the assistance the hon. member appears to want.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise also on a point of order.

During Question Period, I made reference to a statement by Premier Williams concerning sovereignty of the country. This is contained in a letter of September 11, 2009 to the Prime Minister.

I wonder if you would find unanimous consent to table this letter in the House.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for St. John's East have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Privacy CommissionerRoutine Proceedings

September 18th, 2009 / 12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

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

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

HealthCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Health concerning Canada's public health care system and the sixth report regarding reports of body bags being shipped to first nations communities by Health Canada.

National Holocaust Monument ActRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-442, An Act to establish a National Holocaust Monument.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to rise in the House to introduce my private member's bill, an act to establish a national Holocaust monument.

At present there is no public monument to honour either the victims or the Canadian survivors of the Holocaust. I believe that such a monument is important in order to remember what happens when humanity and fundamental basic rights are discarded.

The national Holocaust monument shall forever remind Canadians of one of the darkest chapters in human history and of the dangers of state-sanctioned hatred and anti-Semitism. Hitler and the Nazis extinguished the lives of millions, including Jews, disabled persons, homosexuals, political prisoners and Romas.

Even today propagators of hate, like the President of Iran, express doubts that the Holocaust was a real event. This makes it even more critical that the Holocaust continue to have a permanent place in our nation's consciousness and memory.

This monument will serve as a symbol of Canadian values and diversity as much as it will be a memorial for the millions of victims and families destroyed. This monument will be a testament to the Canadian commitment and resolve to never forget and always stand up against such atrocities.

I would like to acknowledge Laura Grosman as the driving force behind this initiative, and my colleague, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) for his guidance, as well as members of my own caucus and the opposition who have expressed their willingness to work with me in moving this bill forward.

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

Citizenship ActRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-443, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (exception to the rule of inapplicability after the first generation).

Mr. Speaker, since it came into effect in April of this year, the new Citizenship Act limits citizenship by descent to the first generation born abroad.

It is rather complex, but this means that a person born outside of Canada cannot acquire Canadian citizenship by descent from a Canadian parent, either natural or adoptive, who was also born outside of Canada and who themselves acquired Canadian citizenship by descent.

The current legislation does provide an exception to this first-generation cut-off for Canadian parents who would be working for the armed forces, the federal public administration or provincial public service.

Since Canada is a trading nation and a multilateral and multicultural nation, which has traditionally supported multilateral efforts and organizations, I believe it is in our nation's best interest to have Canadian citizens engaged in international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and so forth.

This bill proposes an amendment to section 3(5) or the Citizenship Act listing additional types of employment for which an exception could be made, such as I have mentioned right now.

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

National Park Status for Rouge ValleyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition signed by Canadians calling on the Government of Canada to work with the province of Ontario to establish a national park in the Rouge Watershed in southern Ontario, in order to protect a nationally significant portion of Canada's landscape known as the Eastern Deciduous Forest, also known as the Carolinian Forest Zone, an area that contains numerous flora and fauna on the endangered species list.

I note that in the House we adopted a motion, moved by the Hon. Pauline Browes in January 1990 calling for the same thing, namely the establishment of a park by the Canadian government in the Rouge Watershed.

Protection of Human LifePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions from constituents in the greater Vancouver area.

The first petition states that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that everyone has the right to life and that since January 28, 1988, Canada has had no law to protect the lives of unborn children.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation for the protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death.

Firearms RegistryPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition addresses the long gun registry. It states that the long gun registry has not saved a single life since it was introduced. The petitioners would rather see their tax dollars keep guns out of the hands of criminals and gangs instead of trying to control law-abiding citizens.

They call upon the House of Commons to support any legislation that will cancel the long gun registry and streamline the Firearms Act.

Protection of Human LifePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from over 400 of my constituents and others.

The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to pass legislation to protect human life from the time of conception until natural death. They point out that it has been 40 years since the last change of law on this matter and that since January 28, 1988, Canada has had no law to protect the human rights of children before birth.

This issue has divided Canadians for far too long. It is time for true parliamentarians to lead a respectful dialogue, which will reconcile all Canadians.

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to table a petition signed by thousands of Canadians.

The petitioners call upon the House of Commons to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known and that more people die from asbestos than all other industrial diseases combined, yet Canada remains one of the single-largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world. They also point out that Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, they call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for any asbestos workers or miners or the communities in which they live in, end all government subsidies of asbestos, both in Canada and abroad, and stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the United Nations Rotterdam Convention.

Protection of Human LifePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of my constituents.

As a country that respects human rights, and under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the petitioners draw attention to the right to life, even for the unborn.

They call upon Parliament to pass legislation that will guarantee protection of human life from the time of conception until natural death.

Companies' Creditors Arrangement ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of Nortel's collapse, I would like to table a petition signed by many Canadians who would like to draw the government's attention to the following.

The petitioners note that he Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act currently do not protect the rights of all Canadian employees laid off by a company receiving pensions or long-term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings. The people do not have any preferred status over other unsecured creditors.

They note that employees are unlike any other creditor. They have been largely responsible for creating value for all stakeholders and unlike debit holders, banks and suppliers, they are not diversified businesses taking risks and managing tax writeoffs for financial loss.

They also note that currently under the Investment Canada Act, the federal government fails to ensure the proceeds of sales of Canadian assets are allocated to Canadian employee-related claims before funds are permitted to leave the country before these requirements are made.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament and the government to amend the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to protect the rights of all Canadian employees, to ensure that employees laid off by a company receiving pensions or long-term disability benefits during bankruptcy proceedings obtain preferred creditor status over unsecured creditors and to amend the Investment Canada Act to ensure employee-related claims are paid from proceeds of Canadian assets sales before funds are permitted to leave the country.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 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, the following question will be answered today: No. 101.

Question No. 101Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

With respect to providing safe, quality, and affordable housing to the most vulnerable: (a) how much money will the government invest for the fiscal year of 2009-2010 in affordable housing; (b) how much investment will the government make in 2009-2010 in affordable housing specifically allocated for seniors; (c) will the government enter into new provincial agreements in order to work to facilitate the building and renovation of affordable housing units; and (d) will the government commit to make affordable housing a priority and expedite the building and maintenance of these critical units?

Question No. 101Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the government of Canada has a multi-pronged housing approach to facilitate access to housing. This approach has made significant contributions to the creation of an efficient housing industry; an effective system of building standards; a well-functioning housing finance system; and support for those with housing needs.

Canada’s economic action plan is strengthening Canada’s economy with a one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new, and repair existing social housing. This funding includes: $1 billion to support much needed repairs to social housing--$850 million to be cost-shared with provinces and territories, and $150 million to address needs of existing social housing which Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation administers--;$600 million for new housing and repairs to existing housing on-reserve and in the north--$400 million for on-reserve and $200 million for the north;$400 million to build more housing for seniors; and,$75 million for new housing for people with disabilities.

In response to (a), in 2009-10, it is estimated that federal housing related expenditures through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will be $3.1 billion. This excludes housing related investments by other federal agencies and departments.

Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, invests an estimated $1.7 billion in support of almost 625,000 social housing units across Canada. These social housing units were committed under long-term agreements under various programs.

The Government of Canada has committed to a $1 billion investment in housing through the affordable housing initiative. Under the initiative, the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, provides contributions to increase the supply of affordable housing, in partnership with the provinces and territories. Under bilateral agreements, the provinces and territories cost match the federal investment. Some $935 million has been committed or announced under the affordable housing initiative as of March 31, 2009, for the provision of over 42,300 units across Canada.

On September 4, 2008, the Government of Canada approved funding for housing and homelessness programs at $387.9 million per year for five years to March 31, 2014. As part of this commitment, funding for the affordable housing initiative, the renovation programs including the residential rehabilitation assistance program, and the homelessness partnering strategy were renewed at current levels for two years, to March 31, 2011. For 2009-10, this extension represents additional funding of $125 million for the affordable housing initiative and $128.1 million for the renovation programs.

Canada’s economic action plan builds on this with an investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new, and renovate existing social housing. For 2009-10, this represents an additional investment in housing by the federal government of more than $1 billion on affordable housing.

In response to (b), of the $1.7 billion invested annually by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in support of almost 625,000 social housing units, approximately one-third of these units are occupied by seniors.

Through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s suite of renovation programs, seniors will have access to funding in 2009-10 under programs such as the residential rehabilitation assistance program and home adaptations for seniors independence, HASI. Note HASI is specifically targeted to seniors. It is estimated that financial assistance of approximately $32 million will be provided to seniors in 2009-10 under the renovation programs.

As noted above, the Government of Canada has also committed to a $1 billion investment in housing through the affordable housing initiative. Approximately 25% of the funding was directed to housing for seniors. I

In addition, Canada’s economic action plan includes $400 million over two years for affordable housing specifically targeted for seniors. In 2009-10, this represents a federal commitment of $200 million towards new affordable housing for low-income seniors who will also benefit from other mainstream affordable housing programs. The $1 billion under Canada’s economic action plan allocated for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing will benefit the current residents of this housing. As one-third of the existing housing is estimated to serve seniors, it is estimated that in the order of one-third of the new renovation funding will also benefit seniors.

In response to (c), existing agreements between Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and provinces and territories are being amended to implement both the September 2008 federal government decision to renew for two years the existing affordable housing initiative and renovation programs, to March 31, 2011, as well as a significant component of the economic stimulus measures announced under Canada’s economic action plan.

In response to (d), the Government of Canada is committed to helping all Canadians find safe, adequate, and affordable housing through recent investments of close to $2 billion over five years towards housing and homelessness programs as well as more than $2 billion over the next two years toward building new or repairing existing social housing through Canada’s economic action plan.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and to increase benefits, be read the second time and referred to a committee.