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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

November 15th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is about cheating, and the cheating does not stop with the member from New Brunswick Southwest. First a Conservative senator gets direction from the PMO to send out flyers attacking opposition MPs. This is a flagrant abuse of the new House rules. Now the member of Parliament for Barrie is caught using taxpayer dollars to promote a Conservative councillor. Will the government order its members and its senator to repay these wasted funds?

When will the cheating stop?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there are rules in place, and we expect all of the rules to be followed.

That being said, I encourage the member, given the degree of enthusiasm that she has shown on this subject, to come with us even further and save $25 million for all Canadians by cancelling the subsidy that political parties receive.

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec government has its own interdepartmental action plan on homelessness. Its plan harmonizes and coordinates the efforts of departments and agencies. The federal government wants to use the homelessness partnering strategy for its own goals and impose the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Will the government commit to respecting Quebec's general-interest approach and the community plans in the regions?

HomelessnessOral Questions

3 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, in developing a homelessness plan we have consulted with all levels of government, local communities, and organizations. The government used this feedback to improve the program and we have developed it further. We have continued the homelessness program for an additional number of years, to 2014, at $390 million per year. That is $1.9 billion over five years. We are looking after the homeless.

Status of WomenOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, after promising $10 million to address violence against aboriginal women, this Conservative government has cut $4 million of that funding without even consulting the Native Women's Association of Canada. Sisters in Spirit was praised by this government. Now it is being ignored.

Will the Conservatives reverse this disgraceful decision and commit the full $10 million as promised?

Status of WomenOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false. We are fully supportive of this organization. In fact, we have funded it to the tune of $5 million. In addition to that, we are now putting forward $10 million to create a new RCMP centre for missing persons. We have introduced new law enforcement databases to investigate missing and murdered women. We have also included new funding to boost victim services and support the creation of community and educational aboriginal safety plans.

This is a good-news announcement for aboriginal women and women across this country. In fact, the Native Women's Association of Canada said that this is a significant investment.

Calgary Centre-NorthVacancyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the representation: Mr. Jim Prentice, member for the electoral district of Calgary Centre-North, Alberta, by resignation effective November 14, 2010. Pursuant to subsections 25(1)(b) and 26(1) of the Parliament of Canada Act, a warrant has been addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of a writ for the election of a member to fill this vacancy.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the course of question period, I allowed my emotions to take over the calm, studied aspect of my personality that I am usually able to exhibit. The Minister of National Defence, responding to a question, in his typical fashion was going down to the lowest common denominator—

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Now that the members of the government have stopped heckling and making untoward comments, I will continue with my point of order.

In the heat and the anger at listening to the Minister of National Defence make his comments, I called him a “slime”. I wish to unreservedly withdraw my remarks calling the minister a slime and offer him my sincere apology for having called him a slime. It was unparliamentary. I apologize unreservedly.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I, the House leader of the Bloc Québécois, the House leader of the NDP and especially my friend from Ottawa South, the Liberal House leader, are really working hard to try to increase the level of decorum and debate in this place. I would suggest the statement that the member has just made is not in keeping with that commitment. It says more about her than it does about her party.

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 43 petitions.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

This report concerns Bill C-20, An Act to amend the National Capital Act and other Acts.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Air CanadaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this petition signed by several hundred Air Canada employees, many of them employed at the Montreal maintenance centre, as well as some of their family members and friends. They are worried about the looming possibility that their jobs could be exported to places like El Salvador or South America.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today that is indicative of the groundswell of support for a bill that has been put forward by my NDP colleague from British Columbia Southern Interior. That bill would ban horse meat for human consumption.

The petitioners point out that horses are not raised primarily as food-producing animals, but rather are ordinarily kept and treated as sport and companion animals. As such, they are commonly administered drugs that are strictly prohibited from being used at any time in all other food-producing animals destined for the human food supply. As a result, Canadian horse meat products that are currently being sold for human consumption in domestic and international markets are very likely to contain prohibited substances.

The petitioners are rightly outraged by that fact and call upon Parliament to give expeditious passage to Bill C-544, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption), so as to prohibit the importation and exportation of horses for slaughter for human consumption as well as horse meat products for human consumption.

While I know it is against the rules of the House to endorse a petition, I am delighted to table this petition here today.

Canada Post CorporationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians, again, are showing that they love to read and they are sending petitions to me.

I am pleased to present seven petitions today from people in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and other areas in support of Bill C-509, 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 audiovisual materials.

Passport FeesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my petition calls on the Canadian government to negotiate with the United States government to reduce the United States and Canadian passport fees. Dozens of Canadians have signed these petitions.

The number of American tourists visiting Canada is at its lowest level since 1972. It has fallen by five million visits in the last seven years alone, from 16 million in 2002 to only 11 million in 2009. Passport fees for an American family of four can be over $500 U.S. While 50% of Canadians have passports, only 25% of Americans do.

At the recent Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, which is comprised of states from North Dakota to Illinois and three Canadian provinces, the following resolution was passed unanimously:

RESOLVED, that [the] Conference calls on President Barack Obama and [the Canadian] Prime Minister...to immediately examine a reduced fee for passports to facilitate cross-border tourism; and be it further

RESOLVED, that [the Conference] encourage the governments to examine the idea of a limited-time two-for-one passport renewal or new application;

To be a fair process, the passport fees must be reduced on both sides of the border. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the government to work with the American government to examine a mutual reduction in passport fees to facilitate tourism and, finally, promote a limited-time, two-for-one passport renewal or new application fee on a mutual basis with the United States.

Rights and FreedomsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition that refers to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms concerning the fact that:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law...

Furthermore, the Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that

No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy...

The signatories, citizens of Canada, are calling on the House of Commons to reaffirm and recognize urgently and specifically the fundamental rights of children, their parents and grandparents to the full and entire protection and equal benefit of the charter.

Veterans AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first petition is addressed to the Government of Canada by Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life who genuinely support and value the contributions of our veterans. They regard a veteran as a veteran, regardless of where or in which deployment he or she has served.

Senior officials, including former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran and General Walter Natynczyk, have publicly condemned the new veterans charter and the Department of Veterans Affairs for creating barriers to serving Canada's veterans.

Veterans' hospitals are not able to properly serve modern-day veterans because their mandate is restricted to World War II and the Korean War, despite the more than 200,000 members who have served abroad in peacekeeping missions since the Korean War. There is also a profound concern that the Minister of Veterans Affairs has publicly raised the possibility of merging the Department of Veterans Affairs with the Department of National Defence.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to extend the mandate of veterans' hospitals to include veterans who have served in conflicts and peacekeeping operations since 1953, to end the clawback of veterans' pensions, to eliminate the reduction of veterans' pensions at age 65, to change the widows' benefit to a non-taxable benefit, to create a veterans advisory panel to provide input on the selection of future veterans ombudspersons and to ensure that Veterans Affairs Canada remains a stand-alone department.

Status of WomenPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of petitioners who are concerned for the Native Women's Association of Canada, which has, as part of the NWAC Sisters in Spirit campaign, identified nearly 600 missing and murdered aboriginal women whose cases go back to 1970. The equivalent in the whole Canadian population would be 18,000 missing or murdered women. This research has convinced Canadians that violence against aboriginal women must be stopped and that we need to find the strategies, resources and tools to stop women from disappearing.

The petitioners call upon the Parliament of Canada to ensure NWAC receives the funding it was promised to continue the important work of protecting women through its Sisters in Spirit initiative and to invest in initiatives recommended by NWAC to prevent more women from disappearing.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today to submit to the House. The first one is on the eco-energy program that was cancelled in March of this year. I have over 100 petitioners from Marathon, Schreiber, Nipigon, Sault Ste. Marie and South Porcupine.

The eco-energy program was the flagship program of the federal environment department. It provided incentives to test homes for energy efficiency or actually upgrade homes to be more energy efficient. Only a single day's notice was given in the cancellation of the funding for this very popular and very important program. This program actually saved a lot more money to Canada and Canadians than it cost.

TelecommunicationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on unlocking cellphones.

Today mobile phone companies routinely sell mobile phones that are network locked and it is expensive, difficult and sometimes impossible to get them unlocked at a reasonable cost or even at all. The rules limit consumer choice and competition and it can be very expensive, time consuming and just plain unfair to expect consumers to do this. Many other countries have banned it.

Therefore, I have hundreds of petitioners from across Canada who want their cellphones to be unlocked and to have free of choice and competition in the cellphone service market.

TelecommunicationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is the hon. member for Outremont rising on petitions?

The hon. member must have the unanimous consent of the House to do so twice.

Does the hon. member for Outremont have the unanimous consent of the House to present another petition?

TelecommunicationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

TelecommunicationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Outremont.